Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Critically Endangered

Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius)


French: Vanneau sociable German: Steppenkiebitz Spanish: Avefría sociable
Other common names: Sociable Plover

Charadrius gregarius


, 1771,

Volga, Jaiku and Samara, south-west Russia


Often placed in genus Chettusia. Monotypic.


SC Russia and Kazakhstan and (formerly?) extreme NW China#R. Winters in Sudan (formerly?) and Eritrea, Israel and Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan and NW India; possibly also Iraq and Iran#R.

Descriptive notes

27–30 cm; 150–260 g; wingspan 64–76 cm. Olive-brown lapwing with bold, white supercilia meeting on forehead and nape; black crown and lores, thin dark line... read more


Generally rather quiet outside breeding areas, but noisy during nesting period, most commonly... read more


Breeding habitat mainly on transition zones of Stipa and Artemisia steppes,... read more

Food and feeding

Chiefly insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles, crickets and moth larvae; spiders; frequently small amounts of plant material (grains,... read more


Lays mid Apr to late May or early Jun in N. Monogamous. Before start of breeding season, parties of 5–10 birds land on open field for... read more


Migratory. Migrates from breeding grounds by Aug–Sept, varying between years (latest record... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Breeding range has contracted E, and is now restricted to N Kazakhstan, with a tiny population in adjacent S Russia. Approximately 11,200 mature... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius). 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 26 February 2020).