The Northern Lapwing also known as the Peewit, Green Plover or just Lapwing, is a bird in the plover family. It is common through temperate Eurasia. It is highly migratory over most of its extensive range, wintering further south as far as north Africa, northern India and China. It migrates mainly by day, often in large flocks. Lowland breeders in westernmost areas of Europe are resident.
It is a wader which breeds on cultivated land and other short vegetation habitats. 3–4 eggs are laid in a ground scrape. The nest and young are defended noisily and aggressively against all intruders, up to and including horses and cattle.
In winter it forms huge flocks on open land, particularly arable land and mud-flats.
This lapwing is a 28–31 cm long bird with a 67–72 cm wingspan, It has rounded wings and a crest. It is the shortest-legged of the lapwings. It is mainly black and white, but the back is tinted green. Females and young birds have narrower wings, and have less strongly-marked heads, but plumages are otherwise quite similar.
The name lapwing has been variously attributed to the "lapping" sound its wings make in flight, from the irregular progress in flight due to its large wings or from its habit of drawing potential predators away from its nest by trailing a wing as if broken. Peewit describes the bird's shrill call. This is a vocal bird in the breeding season, with constant calling as the crazed tumbling display flight is performed by the male.
It feeds primarily on mainly insects and other small invertebrates. This species often feeds in mixed flocks with Golden Plovers and Black-headed Gulls, the latter often robbing the two plovers, but providing a degree of protection against predators.
Like the Golden Plovers, this species prefers to feed nocturnally when there are moonlit nights.
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