Lapwing Bird – Introduction

The lapwing (also called Peewit, Green Plover) is Britain’s most common wader. In flight, it can be recognized by its surprisingly rounded wings, and by the lapping sound, they make as they beat (hence one of its many names).


Bird Information and Facts

Lapwing bird habitat

It is a familiar sight on farmland, where it gathers outside the breeding season with other birds including golden plovers and black-headed gulls. It shares the habit of some gulls in drumming the ground with its feet. This is in imitation of raindrops landing, and has the effect of bringing insects up to the surface where they think they will escape drowning.


White underparts, grey back with iridescent purple and green; black crest rising from the back of the head; white cheeks and short thin black bill; easily missed flash of chestnut brown under the tail; pink legs. Flight reveals white underwings and a white bar at the end of the black tail.



The size of Lapwing birds is usually 30 cm or 12 in.


Lapwing bird nests in damp fields and uplands. In winter, gathers in huge flocks on marshland, estuaries and mudflats.


All year throughout Britain and Ireland.

Similar Species (not to be confused with)

The similar species of Lapwing bird is Golden Plover, which on flight also shows white underparts and in winter even has a white belly (black in summer). The plover has golden speckled upperparts and the lapwing is really unmistakable because of its distinctive black and white plumage and crest.

Interesting Facts about Lapwing Bird

Faced with predators, the lapwing flies away and then makes a lot of noise when farthest from the nest, to draw intruders towards her and away from her vulnerable young — a false-alarm tactic which Shakespeare used as a metaphor for insincerity:

“Far from her nest, the lapwing cries away” (Comedy of Errors)

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