- For other species called "Spur-winged Lapwing" or "Spur-winged Plover", see below.
|Spur-winged lapwing, Parc Forestier de Hann, Senegal|
Charadrius spinosus Linnaeus, 1758
These are conspicuous and unmistakable birds. They are medium-large waders with black crown, chest, foreneck stripe and tail. The face, the rest of the neck and belly are white and the wings and back are light brown. The bill and legs are black. Its striking appearance is supplemented by its noisy nature, with a loud did-he-do-it call.
The bird got its name because of a spur (a small claw) hidden in each of its wings.
This species has a preference for marshes and similar freshwater wetland habitats. The food of the spur-winged lapwing is insects and other invertebrates, which are picked from the ground. The famed "crocodile bird" is sometimes taken to be this species, but it is actually the true plover Pluvianus aegyptius.
It lays two blotchy yellowish eggs on a ground scrape. The spur-winged lapwing is known to sometimes use the wing-claws in an attack on animals and, rarely, people, who get too close to the birds' exposed offspring.
This species is declining in its northern range, but is abundant in much of tropical Africa, being seen at almost any wetland habitat in its range. The spur-winged lapwing is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
- Media related to Vanellus spinosus at Wikimedia Commons