Tag Archives: Lelkiewiet

African Wattled Lapwing

Vanellus senegallus

African Wattled Lapwings are diurnal birds, usually seen singly, in pairs or small groups. Larger aggregations of 20 to 60 birds form occasionally in response to favourable local conditions. They feed on insects and grass seeds, and inhabit areas of short grass in marshes, flooded grasslands, and the edges of lakes, dams and rivers but are also found at times in dry grasslands, savannas and agricultural and sports fields and are particularly attracted to recently burnt areas. The African Wattled Lapwing is the biggest plover in Africa, and weigh around 250g with a wingspan of up to 86cm.

African Wattled Lapwings nest on the ground in shallow depressions scraped among weeds or short grass, almost always near water, during spring and summer. The nest is lined with grass, pebbles or dry dung before a clutch of 2-4 eggs are laid. Both parents incubate the eggs for around 4 weeks, and although the chicks fledge at about 40 days old, they remain with their parents until the next breeding season starts. Pairs are highly territorial.

Due to its wide distribution over much of sub-Saharan Africa, and an apparently stable population, the IUCN considers the African Wattled Lapwing of least concern. In South Africa they are found in the north-east of the country, particularly in Kwazulu-Natal and on the Highveld (NE Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, SW Limpopo and the North West Province)