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Blacksmith Lapwing (Plover) (Afrikaans: Bontkiewiet)
A striking, large, black, grey and white plover which is usually found near water. Size: 30cm - slightly larger than a dove but with longer legs.

Species Picture

Blacksmith Lapwings have a striking pied appearance - the white forehead contrasting with the black of the nape, face, front of the neck and breast. The mantle and back are black, and the wings are bluish-grey. The hind neck and belly are white. The bill legs and feet are black and the eye is a dark ruby-red. The legs of this species are particularly long - an adaptation to its wading habits.

This species is usually found near water and can occur in fairly large flocks in suitable habitat. Blacksmith Lapwings prefer the shoreline of water bodies, but may be found feeding on open ground near water. Movements are typically slow and deliberate - the bird moving forward, pausing and then pecking at the ground for food. When not feeding, birds will often sleep standing on one leg in the shallows, the other leg tucked into the belly feathers to conserve body warmth.

Blacksmith Lapwings make a sharp metallic "klinking " sound - reminiscent of someone striking an anvil - giving rise to the common name of this species.

The diet consists of worms, insects and molluscs.

Blacksmith Lapwings breed mainly from July - October, and less commonly in summer. The nest is a scrape on the ground, often lined with small pieces of dried plant or stones.

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