Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Charadriidae
Genus: Vanellus
Species: V. indicus

The Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) is a lapwing, a group of largish waders in the family Charadriidae. These are conspicuous and unmistakable birds. They are large waders, the size of Northern Lapwing with black crown, chest, foreneck stripe and tail tip. The upper face, the rest of the neck, flanks, belly and tail are white and the wings and back are light brown. The bill and facial wattles are red, and the long legs are yellow.

It breeds from Iraq eastwards across tropical Asia. Some northern breeders are migratory, but other populations are resident apart from seasonal dispersion. This species is declining in its western range, but is abundant in much tropical Asia, being seen at almost any wetland habitat in its range. Its striking appearance is supplemented by its noisy nature, with a loud and scolding did-he-do-it call.

This species has a preference for marshes and similar freshwater wetland habitats. It lays 3-4 blotchy buff eggs in a ground scrape.

The food of the Red-wattled Lapwing is insects, snails and other invertebrates, which are picked from the ground. They feed diurnally as well as at night.

Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka, India (March 2007)

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