The Northern Lapwing: A Migratory Marvel

Dancing through the temperate skies of Eurosiberia, the Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), known by many names such as peewit, pewit, tuit, tewit, and green plover, is a spectacle to behold. Its striking appearance and dynamic behavior make it a fascination for bird lovers and a delight for those fortunate enough to find it in a bird sanctuary. This bird, the epitome of avian charm, paints the canvas of the sky with its presence, while its distinctive “pee-wit” call resonates, making its presence known to all.

Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameNorthern Lapwing
2Scientific nameVanellus vanellus
3ColourMainly black and white with a green-tinted back
4Average length28–33 cm
5Average height11–13 cm
6Type of birdWader, Migratory
7Found in India in statesWinters in Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan
8HabitatCultivated land, short vegetation habitats, open land, arable land, and mud-flats
9IUCN StatusLeast Concern

Features of the Bird


The Northern Lapwing measures between 28-33 cm in length, the perfect size for its dynamic flight and bold antics. Its size contributes to its ability to move swiftly, both in the air and on the ground. With a striking blend of black, white, and green hues, it’s a bird picture perfect for any bird lover.


The height of this bird, measured in an upside-down vertical position, ranges between 11-13 cm. This short-legged lapwing’s compact build enables agility and fast-paced movement. For those seeking a perfect bird image name or bird png, the distinctive stature of the Northern Lapwing is sure to catch the eye.

Running Speed

Due to its short legs, the Northern Lapwing doesn’t run like other birds but moves with a unique, quick, and agile trot. While exact speed measures are elusive, its ability to evade predators and protect its nest from threats, including larger animals such as horses and cattle, is evident.


A distinct blend of black, white, and a green-tinted back make the Northern Lapwing a visual delight. Males, identifiable by their long crests, possess a black crown, throat, and breast that contrast vividly with a white face.

Habitat and Food of the Bird

  1. During the winter, the Northern Lapwing, a migratory bird, travels from the temperate regions of Eurosiberia all the way to North Africa, Northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, and some parts of China.
  1. It prefers cultivated land and short vegetation habitats for breeding. Arable land and mud-flats serve as a winter retreat, forming large flocks in these open lands.
  1. This particular type of bird is known to engage in communal feeding with golden plovers and black-headed gulls, thereby contributing to the diversity of a bird sanctuary.
  1. The main source of sustenance for this creature is insects and other small invertebrates. Its predilection for nocturnal feeding, especially under moonlight, is a unique characteristic.
  1. The bird’s symbiotic relationship with black-headed gulls is noteworthy. Although the gulls often rob the lapwings of their food, they also offer a level of protection against predators.

Nesting and Nurturing

The Northern Lapwing is a type of bird that typically nests on cultivated land or in areas with short vegetation. During breeding season, it will lay around 3 to 4 eggs in a ground scrape. Notably, both the nest and the young are defended noisily and aggressively against all intruders.


Despite being under the least concern category on the IUCN Red List, the Northern Lapwing faces threats from habitat loss due to intensive agricultural practices. Predation, particularly during the nesting period, is another significant threat.

IUCN Status and Conservation

The Northern Lapwing is listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Conservation efforts primarily focus on preserving their natural habitats, controlling predation, and managing agricultural practices to ensure their survival. The Northern Lapwing is also part of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA), which adds a layer of international cooperation to its conservation.

The Northern Lapwing is not just another bird flying through the sky, but an embodiment of nature’s incredible diversity. Its unique characteristics make it a worthy addition to any bird shop near me or bird house. Whether you’re a dedicated birdlife enthusiast or just enjoy the occasional bird photos, this bird is certain to capture your interest. So, the next time you’re exploring a bird sanctuary or just browsing a bird shop, keep an eye out for this remarkable species.


The Northern Lapwing, a true spectacle of nature, is not only a wondrous sight to behold but also an essential part of the delicate ecological balance. Its vibrant colors and distinctive features make it a favorite among bird lovers, a bird image name that’s always in demand, and a key attraction in any bird sanctuary. As it traverses continents, it carries with it the message of global connectivity and ecological interdependence.

This bird’s unique behaviors, such as its defensive nesting habits, migratory patterns, and nocturnal feeding under moonlight, remind us of the extraordinary adaptability and diversity of life on our planet. Despite threats from habitat loss and predation, it continues to thrive, thanks to conservation efforts and international agreements like the AEWA.

The Northern Lapwing’s survival underscores the importance of preserving and protecting natural habitats. This is a critical reminder for us as we continue to grapple with environmental challenges and seek ways to coexist sustainably with the world’s birdlife.

For those of us who find joy in watching a bird flying free, who treasure each bird picture, and who spend hours in a bird shop near me or explore the wonders of a bird house, the Northern Lapwing is a beacon of nature’s resilience. Its story reminds us that every creature, no matter how small, plays a significant role in the tapestry of life.

Ultimately, the Northern Lapwing is a testament to the beauty, complexity, and resilience of our planet’s avian life. Whether you’re an avid bird lover or a casual observer, this fascinating creature is sure to capture your interest and admiration.

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