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Blacksmith Lapwing | Vanellus armatus

The Blacksmith Lapwing is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Charadriidae bird family group which includes birds such as Plovers, Lapwings.

The description for the Blacksmith Lapwing (Latin name Vanellus armatus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Vanellus armatus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 258 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 408. You will find a picture of the Blacksmith Lapwing on page 385.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Blacksmith Plover in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Blacksmith Lapwing between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Blacksmith Lapwing is known in Afrikaans as Bontkiewiet.

The Blacksmith Lapwing has a height of 31 cms and weighs around 170 gms. The head is coloured white while the bill is coloured black. The Vanellus armatus has a black coloured throat, black legs and a black, grey coloured back. The eyes are red.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is white

Eyes are red

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is black

Back is black, grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Blacksmith Lapwing is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 4 eggs and they are coloured yellow.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

The Blacksmith Lapwing is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Blacksmith Lapwing is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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