Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus)

Red-wattled Lapwing

[order] CHARADRIIFORMES | [family] Charadriidae | [latin] Vanellus indicus | [UK] Red-wattled Lapwing | [FR] Vanneau indien | [DE] Rotlappen-Kiebitz | [ES] Avefria India | [NL] Indische Kievit


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Vanellus indicus OR widespread, also Middle East
Vanellus indicus aigneri se Turkey to Pakistan
Vanellus indicus atronuchalis ne India to s China, se Asia, Malay Pen. and n Sumatra
Vanellus indicus indicus c Pakistan to Nepal, ne India and Bangladesh
Vanellus indicus lankae Sri Lanka

Physical charateristics

Body size as Lapwing but stands taller, with plumage pattern contributing to longer body-line; wing longer and less broad across outer half than that of Lapwing. Bold, irascible lapwing, with monotonous calls and striking pattern to foreparts. Plumage consists of 3 basic tones: drab brown above, black on long crown, foreneck, and centre of chest, and white on broad stripe from eye to shoulder and on underparts. Red bill-base, wattle, and orbital ring diagnostic, and long yellow legs always noticeable. In flight, brown lesser and median coverts and almost black flight-feathers separated by white band running from carpal joint to bases of inner secondaries. Rump white; tail white with subterminal black band.

Listen to the sound of Red-wattled Lapwing

[audio: Lapwing.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: cm size max.: cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 5  


Oriental Region : widespread, also Middle East


In warm continental lower middle latitudes from steppe to tropical climatic zones, from lowlands up to more than 1000 m in Afghanistan and to c. 1800 m in Kashmir and Nepal. Mainly inland in open country near fresh or brackish water, including jheels, tanks, mudbanks, canals, rivers, ditches, and puddles, particularly on cultivated land such as cornfields, ploughland, fallows, and large irrigated gardens or nurseries. Also on waste ground, either grassy or rough and stony, shingle islands, areas of old cultivation and open dry marsh in Iraq.


Eggs laid in Iraq from mid-April to late June. later dates probably replacements or perhaps second broods.
Nest is built on ground in the open, usually near water, often on slight mound or ridge. Nest is a shallow scrape, lined small stones and debris or unlined.
Clutch is 3?4 eggs, rarely 2, incubated for about 26 days.

Feeding habits

Probably mainly insects, especially beetles. Walks in short spurts, pausing to pick up prey. Feeding essentially nocturnal, starting at dusk.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km2. It has a large global population, including an estimated 80-160 individuals in Europe (BirdLife International in prep.). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Red-wattled Lapwing status Least Concern


Resident in Middle East, though subject to dispersal of uncertain extent. Rare winter visitor to Kuwait, with evidence of passage October?November and February?March.
Vagrant to Russia and Azerbaijan. Resident, dispersive and in places migratory. In winter, generally moves down from high altitudes. Resident to dispersive northern Middle-East, in Iraq leaving dried up places after breeding season. Breeding birds of South Turkmenistan migratory, probably wintering in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or both, arriving back in Turkmenistan in second half of April.

Distribution map

Red-wattled Lapwing distribution range map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *