Banded Lapwing

Did you know?

The Banded Lapwing uses foot-tapping to disturb insects from cover, running to catch anything that moves.

Loud strident calls when alarmed or for contact - a plaintive three-note call, descending in pitch: 'a-chee-chee-chee'.
Facts and Figures
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Breeding season: 
June to November, varies with rainfall.
Clutch Size: 
3 to 4 eggs
28 days
Basic Information
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What does it look like?

The Banded Lapwing is a large plover with a broad black breast band and white throat. The upperparts are mainly grey-brown with white underparts. There is a black cap and broad white eye-stripe, with a yellow eye-ring and bill and a small red wattle over the bill. The legs are pinkish-grey. These lapwings have an upright stance and a slow walk, breaking into a faster trot when alarmed. They fly with quick, clipped wing-beats - giving them the name 'lapwing'.

Similar species: 

The Banded Lapwing is much smaller than the Masked Lapwing,Vanellus miles, with a longer tail and shorter legs. The u-shaped breast band is diagnostic.

Where does it live?

Banded Lapwings are endemic to (found only in) Australia in the east, south and west of the mainland and in Tasmania. They are rarely found in northern Australia.


Banded Lapwings prefer open, short grasslands such as heavily grazed paddocks, agricultural lands and saline herblands in dry and semi-arid regions.

Seasonal movements: 

Banded Lapwings are nomadic, flying considerable distances at night to find suitable conditions of food and water.

What does it do?

Banded Lapwings chase insects with short runs and darts and may eat seeds in dry times. They prefer areas with very short grass, to find insects, worms, spiders and molluscs (snails and slugs).


Banded Lapwings need rain before breeding. The nest is a scrape on the ground, lined with dry grass and even sheep droppings. The eggs and chicks are speckled and well-camouflaged. They freeze and keep quite still at sign of danger. The parents defend their nest and young with great courage and will fly at human intruders, often with a distraction display, pretending to drag a broken wing.

Living with us

Habitat has been increased by the clearing of woodland and converting land to agriculture, although improved pasture, with longer grass, is less suitable for the Banded Lapwings.

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