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|Image Info||Original File Name: Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis).jpg Resolution: 376x296 File Size: 25654 Bytes Upload Time: 2007:10:01 10:49:10|
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|Subject||Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis) - Wiki|
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Southern Lapwing (Vanellus chilensis) - Wiki
The Southern Lapwing Vanellus chilensis (formerly Belonopterus cayennensis lampronotus) is a large wader. It is a common and widespread resident throughout South America, except in the jungles of the Amazon and the Andes. Particularly common in the basin of the River Plate, it is the national bird of Uruguay.
This lapwing is the only crested wader in South America. It is 31-33cm in length and weighs 295g. 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 eyering, legs and most of the bill are pink. It is equipped with red bony extensions under the wings (spurs), used to indimitade foes and fight birds of prey.
During its slow flapping flight, the Southern Lapwing shows a broad white wing bar separating the grey-brown of the back and wing coverts from the black flight feathers. The rump is white and the tail black.
The sexes are similar in plumage, but young birds are duller, with a shorter crest and browner face and breast. There are four geographical races of Southern Lapwing, differing mainly in the details of the black and white face pattern.
The call is a very loud and harsh keek-keek-keek.
Habitat and numbers
This is a Lapwing of lake and river banks or open grassland. It has benefited from the extension of the latter habitat through widespread cattle ranching. It was first recorded on Trinidad in 1961 and Tobago in 1974, and has rapidly increased on both islands.
Habits and movements
Southern Lapwing breeds on grassland and sometimes ploughed fields, and has an aerobatic flapping display flight. It lays 2-3 olive brown eggs in a bare ground scrape. The nest and young are defended noisily and aggressively against all intruders.
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.
El tero, Teru-teru or Avefr??a in Spanish, T??o-T??o or Quero Quero in Brazil.
In popular culture
As the national bird, the Southern Lapwing gives its name to the Uruguay national rugby union team, Los Teros.
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