Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Crowned Lapwing (Vanellus coronatus)


French: Vanneau couronné German: Kronenkiebitz Spanish: Avefría coronada
Other common names: Crowned Plover

Charadrius Coronatus


, 1783,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


Sometimes placed in genus Hoplopterus or Stephanibyx. Birds from SW Angola and W Zimbabwe to N South Africa sometimes separated as race xerophilus, but doubtfully distinct. Has apparently hybridized with V. tectus in Kenya#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. c. demissus (Friedmann, 1928) – N & C Somalia and SE Ethiopia.
  • V. c. coronatus (Boddaert, 1783) – Ethiopia S through E Africa to Angola and South Africa; marginal in SW Somalia.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–34 cm; 126–200 g (coronatus). Very distinctive horizontal black and white bands surrounding black crown; pale brownish above and on breast, with... read more


    In flight both sexes give a loud, grating, rolling “kerrrrit” screech that rises in pitch and is... read more


    Wide variety of dry, open habitats, treeless or sparsely wooded: savanna, open patches in thornbush... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food includes insects and their larvae, especially termites, beetles, grasshoppers, crickets and ants; possibly earthworms. Most active at... read more


    Breeds during dry season, when fires occur, but timing very variable geographically: year-round in E Africa, but depending on rains, e.g.... read more


    Commonly resident, but some erratic movements; in E Africa, some birds resident, others dispersive... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Nominate race estimated to number 400,000–900,000 individuals; rather common and widespread throughout extensive range.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Crowned Lapwing (Vanellus coronatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 May 2019).