Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus)


French: Vanneau à queue blanche German: Weißschwanzkiebitz Spanish: Avefría coliblanca
Other common names: White-tailed Plover

Charadrius leucurus

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

between the Kuwan and Ian Daria, Turkestan


Often placed in genus Chettusia, and in the past sometimes in monospecific Vanellochettusia. Species name frequently misspelt as leucura. Monotypic.


C & SE Turkey, E Syria and Jordan NE through Azerbaijan and Transcaspia to L Balkhash, and SE through Iraq and Iran to W Pakistan; recently recorded breeding in Romania, Cyprus and Armenia, possibly an expansion of its range#R, as well as in Gujarat (NW India)#R. Winters from Sudan through Iraq and Iran to C & E Pakistan and NW & NC India.

Descriptive notes

26–29 cm; 99–198 g; wingspan 55–70 cm. Graceful, slim, long-legged lapwing, with pale, whitish face and (diagnostic) all-white tail; pinkish-brown rest of... read more


Generally similar to calls of V. vanellus in both tone and pitch, albeit quieter and less... read more


Lakeshores and river valleys; nearly always in vicinity of shallow standing or slow-flowing water... read more

Food and feeding

Diet probably consists mainly of insects, especially beetles and grasshoppers, but also caterpillars and fly larvae; also takes worms,... read more


Lays mainly between mid Apr and May, but into Jun, with copulation also noted as early as late Feb in Kuwait and eggs in second week of Mar... read more


Sedentary in much of Middle East, partially migratory in C Asia. Departs breeding grounds in C Asia... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population wintering in E Africa and SW Asia numbers 10,000–100,000 birds, with similar numbers in SC Asia; 500–1000... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). White-tailed Lapwing (Vanellus leucurus). 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).