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Lapwing

size:

length: 28-31 centimeters
wingspan: 70-76 centimeters

weight:

230 grams

color:

black tuft and green lustrous back

age:

record: 21 years

food:

ground invertebrates

reproduction:

number: 4 eggs

  • Dut: Kievit
  • Eng: Lapwing, Peewit, Green Plover
  • Fren: Vanneau huppé
  • Ger: Kiebitz
  • Dan: Vibe
  • Nor: Vipe
  • Frisian: Ljip
  • Ital: Pavoncella
  • Lat: Vanellus vanellus
Lapwing, foto fitis, adriaan dijksen

Lapwing

Lapwings belong in meadows. The name lapwing describes the sound its broad wings make when in flight. Lapwings are also known as peewits, thanks to their shrill call. They are very vocal during mating season and have glorious courting rituals in the air. In the spring, the male makes several simple hollows in the ground and the female chooses one to make brood her eggs in. Both males and females brood the eggs and care for the chicks. Should their nest with chicks be threatened, they will defend their young with all their might. Sometimes, you see them flying after a harrier, constantly attacking the raptor. If it really gets serious, they will pretend to have a broken wing, luring the predator away from the nest.

On Texel


Lapwing eggs were also gathered on Texel. According to historians, an egg collector could hold as much as 18 eggs in the border of his cap. With the cap in the hand, he could gather another 10 eggs but then he had to be careful when jumping the ditches. Eggs are no longer collected on the island. It is still a tradition as to who finds the first egg but the eggs stay in the nest. The finder is announced in the newspaper and the nest is protected.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Lapwings, foto fitis, adriaan dijksen

    Many lapwings nest here and migrate south in the autumn. Those that nest more northerly migrate along the coast to the south. Some spend the winter in the Netherlands, while others move further south. Lapwings stay as close to their nesting grounds as possible, following the frost line. Only when frost threatens will they move further south. If they react too late, then they run the risk of freezing to death.

  • Searching and gathering lapwing eggs
    Lapwing Eggs, Jeroen Reneerkens (jeroenreneerkens@hetnet.nl)

    In earlier days, many lapwing eggs were gathered, particularly in Friesland. Nowadays, that only occurs sporadically. In the new Flora and Fauna Act, you must get permission to search and gather lapwing eggs. Many of those that search for eggs also try to help the birds by protecting the nests.

  • Effects of climate changes

    Nowadays, the first lapwing egg is found on the average of twelve days earlier than in 1900. A researcher working for CBS had consulted the Enkhuizer Almanak and concluded that the birds started laying their eggs earlier since the past 30 years. The cause is probably climate change. There was also a shift before 1970, but that was because farming improved whereby the grass started growing earlier so that the lapwing could make its nest earlier.