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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Black-winged Lapwing / Black-winged Plover

Afrikaans name: Grootswartvlerkkiewiet

Adult Black-winged Lapwing

Above - Black-winged Lapwing

Photo © Steven Herbert

Vanellus melanopterus

The Black-winged Lapwing used to be called the Black-winged Plover. This bird is normally seen in small groups in areas with short grass. These groups are territorial and defend their territories vocally and with aerial displays.

There are two distinct population groups of this species in Africa. One group is found in South Africa and the other in Kenya through to Ethiopia. There are no movements between the two regions although they do have some local minor migrations.

Termites make up the biggest portion of the Black-winged Lapwings diet but they also eat other insects such as ants and beetles. Earth worms are also eaten.

A pair will make their nest in short grassland, especially areas that have been burnt recently. They normally lay three eggs. Both parents share the incubation duties and take turns of 1 to 2 hours before swopping.

Black-winged Lapwing

Above - A Black-winged Lapwing in its typical grassland habitat

Photo © Steven Herbert

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References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 142

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 85

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 30

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 230

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 228

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 170

List of South African Birds

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