Blacksmith lapwing

Anitibyx armatus

This colourful African bird lives in rivers, lakes and other wet areas, where it feeds on small invertebrates. Despite being a gregarious species that forms flocks of tens of individuals, during the mating season, each pair is very aggressive in defending the area around its nest from fellow members of its species. It is quite common in a large part of its area of distribution. 

Natural habit

Semidesert areas with scatered wetlands in southern Africa.

Blacksmith lapwing
  • Distribution / Resident
  • Breeding
  • Wintering
  • Subspecies

Risk level

  • Extint
  • Extint in the wild
  • Critically endangered
  • In Danger
  • Vulnerable
  • Near threatened
  • Minor concern
  • Insufficient data
  • Not evaluated
Preocupació menor

Taxonomy

Class
Aves
Order
Charadriiformes
Family
Charadriidae

Physical characteristics

110-213 g
Birth Weight:
28-31 cm
More than 15 years

Biology

Habitat
Wetlands
Social life
Gregarious
Feeding
Insectivorous

Reproduction

Gestation
23-31
Days
Baby
1 a 4

Discover how they are

Biology

Description

This shorebird species is some 30 cm long, and has spectacular and eye-catching plumage, with a combination of highly conspicuous white, black and grey. The wing is entirely grey and only the flight and primary feathers are black. The tail, dorsal, neck and chest are all black, while the top of its head and nape are bright white. It has thin black legs that give it a graceful appearance, less sturdy than its European relative.

Habitat

This striking African bird lives in rivers, lakes and other wet areas, normally in sub-desert areas.

Feeding

It eats molluscs, crustaceans, worms, insects and other small invertebrates. It tends to feed in pastures and spaces being used by domestic herds to capture insects and other invertebrates.

Reproduction

During the breeding period, each couple defends the area surrounding their nest extremely aggressively from fellow lapwings. It is territorial and solitary. The nest is usually a small depression in the ground, generally lined with plants and grasses of different origins, close to a water source, in which the female lays from one to four eggs, although in general three. Incubation is done by both members of the couple and tends to last from 23 to 31 days.

Conduct

Outside of breeding season, they form large groups, which move locally in a small range searching for better feeding grounds. Many of these movements are due to droughts or seasonal flooding, and simply represent a nature not prone to migration and a bit more nomadic.

Status and conservation programs

It is quite common in a good part of its area of distribution. They depend directly on the availability of permanent and temporary lagoons throughout their distribution area. In some areas where droughts have been very severe, populations have seen a negative trend, while in other points with increased wetlands, the trend has been completely positive.