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Common name Northern lapwing
Scientific name Vanellus vanellus
Type Farmland birds
Status Wintering

Unmistakable wader bird, medium size (approx 30 cm or 12 in). Short bill and a crest with thin elongated feathers. Dark green upperparts with metallic reflections. White underparts. Lower tail area with brown tones. Black crest, crown, forehead, throat and breast band. Black face with white cheeks.


Cultivated areas and Wetlands

Where it lives

Species of inland open environments, swampy or flooded. It has adapted to transformed lands such as pastures, wastelands, farmlands and transformed wetlands.

How it lives

Wintering bird in most of the province. The north of Malaga hosts one of the few breeding populations of the Iberian Peninsula of the Northern Lapwing, although the nesting is not regular. One annual laying from May of 4 eggs. Nest on the ground. It feeds on terrestrial invertebrates (earthworms, molluscs, insects), but occasionally captures amphibians and small fish. This wader also consumes plant matter. Very peculiar hunting technique. It moves quickly short distances and then stops. At each stop the lapwing searches with its ear and eyes for its prey. Very gregarious behaviour.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Lapwings are frequent in the region of Antequera, in the vicinity of the Campillos, Fuente de Piedra or La Ratosa lagoons. They can also be watched at the mouth of the Guadalhorce. Eventually there are years in which they are present in such urban and coastal areas as the floodplains that border the A-397 road, between the industrial park of San Pedro de Alcántara and the A-7. In the Great Path it can be observed in stages 16 to 18.

Curious facts

Popular culture has always related lapwings with the arrival of bad weather, and has considered them to be birds that bring cold. The truth is that it is the other way around. Lapwings flee from the cold and for that reason they approach to more southern latitudes, looking for a better climate.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration