Tag Archives: Witkopkiewiet

White-crowned Lapwing

Vanellus albiceps

White-crowned Lapwings are usually seen on the sandy or muddy banks and islands of large rivers and other natural waterbodies, searching for invertebrates and occasionally small frogs and fish to feed on. Adults weigh approximately 190g and measure around 30cm in length.

Outside of the breeding season White-crowned Lapwings congregate in groups of up to 30, though more usually numbering 6-12, but during the dry-season breeding period they are to be found in highly territorial pairs.  The nest is a scrape or the footprint of a large mammal in the sand, vigorously defended against any bird or animal that ventures too close. Clutches consist of 2 or 3 eggs.

In South Africa the White-crowned Lapwing occurs only in the Lowveld and Limpopo Valley and is considered rare and threatened by diminishing river flows – there’s only about 90 pairs in total along the Limpopo, Luvuvhu, Olifants and Sabie Rivers in the Kruger National Park. North of our borders they are found patchily in parts of southern and eastern Africa, with the majority of the population occurring in central and west Africa. It is listed as being of least concern by the IUCN.