Belongs to: breeding waders

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus

Also known as: pee-wit, green plover

BoCC Red list

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Wader with a distinctive crest found commonly in wet meadows, where they probe for insects such as wireworms

Habitat: freshwater marshes, moors, estuaries and fields

Resident; widespread and common in winter, but has declined drastically as a breeding bird


Green glossy sheen to upperparts, black and white face, black crest and pinkish long legs; magpie-sized, i.e. 30 cm

Walks slowly feeding on invertebrates; in winter often flocks on open fields along with gulls and golden plovers

Acrobatic, swooping display flights by the male in spring, making pee-wit calls  


Male makes several scrapes on the ground and the female selects one and lines with grasses

One brood of 4 buff eggs blotched black, late March to May

Some fly to south-west Europe in winter, and birds from northern Europe fly here

© Alan Williams