Family Plovers (Charadriidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus malabaricus)


French: Vanneau de Malabar German: Gelblappenkiebitz Spanish: Avefría malabar

Charadrius malabaricus


, 1783,

no locality = Malabar Coast


Formerly placed in monospecific genus Lobipluvia; occasionally included in Hoplopterus. Original spelling has frequently been quoted as “malarbaricus”, but this is now seen to be merely an Incorrect Subsequent Spelling (see above, OD box). Monotypic.


S Pakistan (Sind), and India from Gujarat and Himachal E to Bihar and S through peninsula to Sri Lanka; non-breeding visitor to S Nepal (has bred), West Bengal and Bangladesh.

Descriptive notes

24–28 cm; 108–203 g (three specimens); wingspan 65–69 cm. Lapwing with yellow wattles and legs; cap black, bordered below by narrow white line; chin and... read more


A drawn-out “tchee-it” in contact, with a "chit-oo-eet” in alarm, which... read more


Dry and open habitats, including cultivated and fallow fields and wasteland; also at edges of... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily insects and their larvae, including grasshoppers and beetles; also molluscs. Mainly feeds nocturnally.


Breeds mainly Mar–Jul; season until Aug in Sri Lanka, from late Apr until mid Jun in Pakistan. Adults defend large territories, where... read more


Mainly sedentary; local movements to drier areas during monsoon, with short-range movements also... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). No population estimates available; widely distributed, and apparently still rather common. No threats known; adaptation to rather dry... read more

Recommended citation

Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Yellow-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus malabaricus). 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 15 December 2019).