Sociable Lapwing/Vanellus gregarius

Sociable Lapwing/Vanellus gregarius - Photographer: Сергей Дерелиев
Sociable Lapwing/Vanellus gregarius - Photographer: Сергей Дерелиев
Sociable Lapwing/Vanellus gregarius - Photographer: Сергей Дерелиев

L 27-30 cm. Breeds on wide, dry steppes of Central Asia and SW Siberia, often rather far from water; winters in NE Africa, Iraq and India, sometimes also in S Israel (Negev). Scarce passage migrant in SE Europe and Middle East; vagrant elsewhere, usually appearing with Lapwings, which have similar habitat and food requirements.
IDENTIFICATION: Behaviour and structure as Lapwing, but slightly smaller and longer-legged. At all ages, unmistakable combination of bold white supercilium, blackish legs, and three-coloured upperwing pattern (recalling Sabine’s Gull). Recalls White-tailed Lapwing, but not so slender or long-legged and has prominent supercilium, black legs and black-banded tail. - Adult summer: Crown and eye-stripe black, breast pinkish grey-buff, belly black with deep chestnut rear part. -Adult winter: Breast paler, belly white. - Juvenile: Diffusely streaked breast and prominent scaly pattern above. - 1stwinter: Told by retained juvenile coverts and tertials.
VOICE: Utters single harsh ‘kretch’ or repeated, chattering ‘kretch-etchetch…’ in flight.

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