Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus senegallus)


French: Vanneau du Sénégal German: Senegalkiebitz Spanish: Avefría senegalesa
Other common names: African Wattled Lapwing

Parra senegalla


, 1766,



Sometimes placed in monospecific genus Afribyx. W population of race lateralis sometimes separated as subspecies solitaneus. Large race major not always accepted, as it occurs at end of cline in size from W to E; may be better synonymized with nominate#R. Three subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. s. senegallus (Linnaeus, 1766) – SW Mauritania, Senegambia and NW Sierra Leone E to Sudan, NE DRCongo and N Uganda.
  • V. s. major (Neumann, 1914) – W & C Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • V. s. lateralis A. Smith, 1839 – S Congo and Angola E to S Uganda, and S through W Tanzania, S DRCongo, Zambia and Malawi to N Namibia, N Botswana, Zimbabwe, S Mozambique and NE South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 34 cm; 160–287 g. Large yellow and red wattles; long yellow legs; yellow bill, with some black on culmen towards tip; black carpal spurs; plumage mainly brown, with... read more


    A series of very rapidly delivered “peep” notes that become a staccato “yip-yip”, given in... read more


    Wide variety of lowland habitats; in Ethiopia and rest of E Africa occurs up to 2200 m, with... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly insects, such as grasshoppers, locusts, beetles, crickets, termites and various aquatic insects; also worms and grass seeds.... read more


    Laying dates geographically very variable, depending on rains; Mar–Jun in Nigeria and season probably identical in Ghana; most... read more


    Resident and dispersive, sometimes nomadic. Movements dependent on water levels and rains, but... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population of nominate race estimated at 25,000–60,000 individuals, of which up to c. 5000 in Mali, while that of race ... read more

    Recommended citation

    Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Wattled Lapwing (Vanellus senegallus). 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 10 December 2019).