Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis)

Southern Lapwing

[order] CHARADRIIFORMES | [family] Charadriidae | [latin] Vanellus chilensis | [UK] Southern Lapwing | [FR] Vanneau tero | [DE] Bronzekiebitz | [ES] Avefria Tero | [NL] Chileense Kievit


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Vanellus chilensis SA widespread
Vanellus chilensis cayennensis n South America
Vanellus chilensis chilensis c Chile and wc Argentina
Vanellus chilensis fretensis s Chile and s Argentina
Vanellus chilensis lampronotus c and e Brazil to n Chile and n Argentina

Physical charateristics

Grey head and neck. Black forehead, throat and chest. grey and black of the head and throat separated by a white line. grey back with brownish metalic brightness. grey upper wing coverts with iridescent tones. Black primaries and secondaries, separated of the grey coverts by a white band that are seen when the wings are open. Reddish spur in the elbow of each wing. White belly, flanks and under wing coverts. White basal-half tail; rest black . Red bill with black tip. Red legs.

Listen to the sound of Southern Lapwing

[audio: Lapwing.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 31 cm size max.: 33 cm
incubation min.: 27 days incubation max.: 30 days
fledging min.: 29 days fledging max.: 30 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


South America : widespread


This is a Lapwing of lake and river banks or open grassland. It has benefited from the extension of the latter habitat through widespread cattle ranching. It was first recorded on Trinidad in 1961 and Tobago in 1974, and has rapidly increased on both islands.


The nest is a shallow depression in the ground about 160 mm in diameter, surrounded by grass roots, with no lining other than some dry grass.
The clutch is 3 to 4 large (50 x 37 mm) pear-shaped eggs, which are colored greenish-brown with dark blotches. Total incubation time for the eggs is 27-30 days, The chicks are able to feed independently a short time after hatching. Their cryptic plumage renders them nearly invisible to the naked eye.
The nst is defended by not just the parents. Immatures and other adults will help defending it. Loosely colonial. The young fledge after about a month.

Feeding habits

Its food is mainly insects and other small invertebrates, hunted by a run-and-wait technique, mainly at night. This gregarious species often feeds in flocks.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Southern Lapwing status Least Concern


Sedentary, allthough post breeding dispersal is common. In extreme winters Southern populations migrate North.

Distribution map

Southern Lapwing distribution range map

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