Also known as the ‘peewit’ in imitation of its display calls, its proper name describes its wavering flight. Its black and white appearance and round-winged shape in flight make it distinctive, even without its splendid crest.

Lapwings prefer to breed and roost on farmland with spring-sown crops, open damp grasslands or moorlands close to a mixture of arable fields and permanent grasslands, that can provide them with a constant supply of  insects to feed on. In winter you may see them in ploughed fields and flooded grasslands.

This familiar farmland bird has suffered catastrophic declines over the last 25 years. Reasons for these declines are still being investigated, but some of the factors include:

  • Loss of suitable habitat (e.g. more intensive farming and loss of unimproved, damp grasslands through drainage)
  • Disturbance to sites and destruction of nests during breeding period (e.g. by stock due to more intensive grazing, or due to timing of agricultural operations such as ploughing, or due to increased recreational pressures at sites)
  • Shortage of food supply (worms and insects) due to increased chemical use
  • Increased risk of predation from species such as fox and buzzard at vulnerable sites

For more information on the habitat needs of lapwing see the RSPB website – click here.

Use the navigation pane on the left for information on other species within the National Park.