Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Near Threatened

Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)


French: Vanneau huppé German: Kiebitz Spanish: Avefría europea

Tringa Vanellus


, 1758,

Europe, Africa; restricted to Sweden


In the past, genus Vanellus commonly considered to contain present species only. Monotypic.


Europe, Turkey and NW Iran through W Russia and Kazakhstan to S & E Siberia, Mongolia and N China. Winters from W Europe, E Atlantic islands and N Africa through Mediterranean, Middle East and Iran across N India to SE China, Korea and S Japan.

Descriptive notes

28–31 cm; 128–330 g; wingspan 82–87 cm. Metallic glossy green upperparts, blackish crest and bronze scapulars; very broad wings, especially in breeding... read more


Very vocal during breeding season when male’s territorial song given (see also Breeding) during... read more


Breeds in variety of wide open habitats with short vegetation or bare ground, including various... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on invertebrate prey, primarily earthworms and insects, including larvae and adults of beetles, ants, Diptera flies, moths and... read more


Lays mid/late Mar to early Jun overall, with start becoming progressively later in N & E of range. Mostly seasonally monogamous, but... read more


Migratory and resident. Post-breeding gathers in flocks. Breeding areas vacated as early as... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Global population thought to number up to 11,000,000 individuals (2006 data). Estimated 1,590,000–2,580,... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus). 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 25 February 2020).