Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Long-toed Lapwing (Vanellus crassirostris)


French: Vanneau à ailes blanches German: Langzehenkiebitz Spanish: Avefría palustre

Chettusia crassirostris


, 1855,



In the past, commonly placed in monospecific genus Hemiparra. Races intergrade in Tanzania, SE DRCongo and N Malawi, and these intermediate individuals formerly separated as race hybrida. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. c. crassirostris (Hartlaub, 1855) – South Sudan through Uganda, E DRCongo, Kenya and Tanzania to N Malawi; also L Chad (NE Nigeria and Chad).
  • V. c. leucopterus Reichenow, 1889 – Tanzania, SE DRCongo, Zambia and Malawi to E Angola, N Botswana and NE South Africa; also W Angola.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 31 cm; 162–225 g. Long-legged and unusually long-toed lapwing; nape, hindneck and breast black with bluish gloss, face and throat white; upperparts dark greyish... read more


    Gives a repeated, metallic clicking “kick-k-k-k”, or “kick-kick”, as well... read more


    Forages on surface of floating vegetation in stagnant water, e.g. lakes, pools and marshes; also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds on aquatic insects, larvae, dragonfly nymphs, beetles, ants and small snails. Unlike any other Vanellus species, feeds... read more


    Laying probably mainly Dec–Mar in C Africa, Sept in Sudan, Apr in Ethiopia, Jun–Sept in Uganda, Jun–Oct in Malawi, Jul... read more


    Mainly sedentary, unless habitat dries up. Some movements between habitats have been observed in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). S African population estimated at number 25,000–50,000 individuals, with < 5000 in L Chad Basin, but no estimate for those... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Long-toed Lapwing (Vanellus crassirostris). 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 8 December 2019).