Willem’s Weekly Bird Photography blog (#13)

Week 13: White-crowned Lapwing (Witkop kiewiet)(Vanellus albiceps)

This week a very interesting and sometimes a confusing bird – the white-crowned lapwing. Not very common in South Africa but a beautiful bird.

 

11 Lapwing with butterfly W

Lapwing with butterfly 1

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens & Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 800, f8, 1/3200, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 10 meters from bird

Chobe Nature Reserve, Botswana, March 2013

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Lapwing with butterfly 3 1400 300k 72d sRGB noise K W

Lapwing with butterfly 3

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens & Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 800, f9, 1/3200, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 12 meters from bird

Chobe Nature Reserve, Botswana, March 2013

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Lapwing with butterfly 2

Lapwing with butterfly 2

Nikon D3S, Nikkor 600mmf4 fixed lens & Nikon 1.4 convertor = 850mm, ISO 800, f9, 1/3200, exposure = -0.67, WB = sunlight, Aperture mode, 12 meters from bird

Chobe Nature Reserve, Botswana, March 2013

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These images above are showing some interesting behaviour from the lapwings. They are busy catching butterflies on the bank of the Chobe River. When a lapwing did catch a butterfly, the bird took the butterfly to the water, dipped it in water before swallowing it.

 

Other interesting facts:

This lapwing is unmistakable. Its wings and tail are strikingly patterned in black and white, the back is brown and the underparts white. The head is particularly striking, being mainly grey, but with a white crown and foreneck. The eyering, facial wattles and legs are yellow. Females, males and young birds are similar in plumage. It is a wader which breeds on exposed sand or shingle near rivers. 2–3 eggs are laid in a ground scrape. The nest and young are defended noisily and aggressively against all intruders, up to and including the hippo. (Wikipedia)

It can easily be mistaken by the African Wattle Lapwing (Lelkiewiet) but its white and not brown breast separate it from the African Wattle Lapwing. The white crowned lapwing also does not a red spot above its beak.

Monogamous, defending a linear territory along the river bed. The nest is a shallow scrape in a damp sandbank, occasionally lined with small sticks and pebbles. It is typically placed in the open, occasionally adjacent to a driftwood or vegetation. Egg-laying season is from July-November, peaking from August-October. It lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for at least 26 days, although they are often left unattended (sometimes in the hottest part of the day). The chicks can feed themselves within 24 hours of hatching and are cared for by both parents, who become increasingly aggressive towards intruders. Near-threatened in South Africa, largely due to decreased river flow, which is probably caused by afforestation, invasive plants and obstruction by man-made structures (such as dams).

http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/charadriidae/vanellus_albiceps.htm

 

The distribution map http://www.biodiversityexplorer.org/birds/charadriidae/vanellus_albiceps.htm

White-crowned lapwing map

 

Until next week – keep an eye on the birds and keep on shooting.

 

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  1. #1 by photographytricksandtips on June 28, 2014 - 9:35 am

    Willem, ek is besonder beindruk met hierdie foto’s. Veral die een met die vlindertjie is besonder pragtig!!! Veels geluk.

  2. #2 by whk139 on June 28, 2014 - 10:18 am

    Thanks – bly jy geniet dit!

  3. #3 by michaelsingeltonhaworth on June 28, 2014 - 3:31 pm

    Willem, Your images are excellent and I am enjoying the interesting facts section and am learning from it. Thanks for sharing.

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