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Southern Lapwing

Vanellus chilensis


This lapwing is the only crested wader in South America. It is 32 to 38 centimetres (13 to 15 in) in length and weighs approximately 250 to 425 grams (8.8 to 15.0 oz). The upperparts are mainly brownish grey, with a bronze glossing on the shoulders. The head is particularly striking; mainly grey with a black forehead and throat patch extending onto the black breast. A white border separates the black of the face from the grey of the head and crest. The rest of the underparts are white, and the eye ring, legs and most of the bill are pink. It is equipped with red bony extensions under the wings (spurs), used to intimidate foes and fight birds of prey.


Tends to appear in any area where there are grass spreads, even in urban areas: in Rio de Janeiro, it can be seem even at soccer fields. When nesting in the vicinity of airports, poses a threat to the safety of aerial traffic. When not breeding, this bird disperses into wetlands and seasonally flooded tropical grassland. Its food is mainly insects and other small invertebrates, hunted by a run-and-wait technique, mainly at night. This gregarious species often feeds in flocks. The Southern Lapwing breeds on grassland and sometimes ploughed fields, and has an aerobatic flapping display flight. It lays 2-3 (rarely 4) olive brown eggs in a bare ground scrape. The nest and young are defended noisily and aggressively against all intruders(including humans), by means of threats, vocalizations and low flights.


The Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis) is a wader in the family Charadriiformes. It is a common and widespread resident throughout South America, except in densely forested regions (e.g. most of the Amazon), the higher parts of the Andes and the arid coast of a large part of western South America. This bird is particularly common in the basin of the River Plate. It has also been spreading through Central America in recent years. It is a popular bird in Uruguay, where it is called tero. Due to the sound of the call the bird makes and its bold and pugnacious nature it has become the namesake and mascot of the Uruguay national rugby union team, Los Teros. In Brazil it is widely known as quero-quero, an onomatopoetic of its commonly heard voice, and is considered the official symbol-bird of the sate of Rio Grande do Sul.

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1 Comment

patty 3 years ago

Nice series of pictures =); it is great to have all those lapwings always around us, we have both got used to each other and it is fantastic =)

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Saint George´s School
Spotted by a student at Saint George´s School


Lat: -32.86, Long: -55.99

Spotted on May 7, 2012
Submitted on May 7, 2012

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