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Red-wattled Lapwing

Red-wattled Lapwing
Photo Information
Copyright: Ram Thakur (ramthakur) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4316 W: 231 N: 14052] (56953)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-09-14
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, Sigma 70-300 4-5.6 APO DG MACRO, 58mm UV
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-12-09 21:47
Viewed: 3695
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) is a lapwing or large plover, a wader in the family Charadriidae. It has characteristic loud calls which are variously rendered as Did he do it or Pity to do it leading to colloquial names like did-he-do-it. Usually seen in pairs or small groups not far from water but may form large flocks in the non-breeding season (winter).


Red-wattled Lapwings are large waders about 35cm long (somewhat larger than a Rock Pigeon, with longer legs). The wings and back are light brown, but head and chest and front part of neck are black. Prominently white patch runs between these two colours, from belly and tail, flanking the neck to the sides of crown. Short tail is tipped black. A red fleshy wattle in front of each eye, black-tipped red bill, and the long legs are yellow. In flight, prominent white V-shaped wing bar.
Race aigneri is slightly paler and larger than the nominate race and is found in Afghanistan and the Indus valley. The nominate race is found all over India. The Sri Lankan race lankae is smaller and dark while atronuchalis the race in north-eastern India and eastern Bangladesh has a white cheek surrounded by black.
Males and females are similar in plumage but males have a 5% longer wing and tend to have a longer carpal spur. The length of the birds is 320-350mm, wing of 208-247mm with the nominate averaging 223mm, Sri Lanka 217mm. The Bill is 31-36mm and tarsus of 70-83mm. Tail length is 104-128mm.
It usually keeps in pairs or trios in well-watered open country, ploughed fields, grazing land, and margins and dry beds of tanks and puddles. They occasionally form large flocks, especially in the Gangetic plains. It is also found in forest clearings around rain-filled depressions. It runs about in short spurts and dips forward obliquely (with unflexed legs) to pick up food in a typical plover manner. They are known to feed at night and are especially active around the full moon. Is uncannily and ceaselessly vigilant, day or night, and is the first to detect intrusions and raise an alarm, and therefore a nuisance to hunters. Flight rather slow, with deliberate flaps, but capable of remarkable agility when defending nest or being hunted by a hawk. Its striking appearance is supplemented by its noisy nature, with a loud and scolding did-he-do-it call, often uttered at night.
The local name in Hindi: titeeri, titai, titori


It breeds from West Asia (Iraq, SW Iran, the Arabian/Persian Gulf) eastwards across South Asia (Baluchistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the entire Indian subcontinent up to Kanyakumari and up to 1800m in Kashmir/Nepal), with another sub-species further east in Southeast Asia. May migrate altitudinally in spring and autumn (e.g. in N. Baluchistan or NW Pakistan), and spreads out widely in the monsoons on creation of requisite habitats, but by and large the populations are resident.
This species is declining in its western range, but is abundant in much of South Asia, being seen at almost any wetland habitat in its range.


The breeding season is mainly March to August. The eggs are laid in a ground scrape or depression sometimes fringed with pebbles, goat or hare droppings. About 3-4 black-blotched buff eggs shaped a bit like a peg-top (pyriform), 42x30 mm on average. Nests are difficult to find since the eggs are cryptically coloured and usually matches the ground pattern. In residential areas, they sometimes take to nesting on roof-tops. When nesting they will attempt to dive bomb or distract potential predators. Like other lapwings, they soak their belly feathers to provide water to their chicks as well as to cool the eggs during hot weather. The eggs are often collected by people and used in traditional remedies for asthma and typhoid. In southern India, there is a local belief that the bird sleeps on its back with the legs upwards and the Hindi proverb Tithiri se asman thama jaega ("can the pee-wit support the heavens?") is used in metaphors for persons undertaking tasks beyond their strength.


Ants, beetles, caterpillars and other insects, snails and other invertebrates, mostly picked from the ground. Also a quantity of vegetable matter. Feeds in the day as well as night.

(Note based on info from Wikipedia)


Jamesp, rcrick, cataclysta, eng55, Argus, uleko, anilnediyara, albert, Pearl has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-12-09 23:02]

Good Morning Ram (it is still very dark here)

A lovely shot - great pose and very well framed. Ecellent detail throughout.


Hi Ram,

I've missed a few postings of late but I'm slowly catching up, I'm glad I caught this one, wonderful colours, perfect pov, really like the angles created by the grass on the right, loverly colourd bird, that splash of red on the beak and eye really stand out, very nice work, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

Hello Ram
Nice looking bird. Very interesting species. I like the OOF background and nice colors. Sharpness is pretty good.
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-12-10 1:27]

Hi Ram,
Very nice capture of this lapwing.POV,colors ,details and eye contact are wonderful.
Thanks for posting.

Hi Ram

Fine shot of this lapwing. Good sharpness, though I'm mnot sure about teh composition. On the grass might have been better, but you have to take them where you get them I guess.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-12-10 5:33]

We are neighbours today!
The Red-wattled Lapwing is a species that I have admired on my visits to India Ram.
You have made a fine capture of it, not easy to do as it is pretty shy,
I like the POV and pose that you have captured with fine sharpness that shows all the salient features.
Thanks for this fine reminder,
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-10 5:40]

Hello Ram,
I'm fond of all Lapwings, they're beautiful birds and I remember seeing a large flock of this species on a visit to one of Delhi's water harvesting systems. I like your POV here, details are very clear and colours beautiful. Very well composed too.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hi Ram,
Nice shot if lapwing, you have used a different POV and it has come out well. Is the bird walking on the banks of lined canal? Asked because of the sloping BG. TFS this beauty.

Hello Ram,
Excellent capture, great focus with good details and colours
Well done

  • Great 
  • Pearl Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 105 W: 25 N: 76] (321)
  • [2008-12-11 6:56]

Hello Ram,

Lovely shot of this good looking bird. The details, colors, and POV are wonderful. Nice composition and good notes. TFS.


  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-11 14:15]

Hi Ram,
a fine shot of this Lapwing.
Good sharpness and light.
Well composed.
Good DOF.

Well done,

Hi Ram,
Excellent capture of Red-wattled Lapwing; nice pose and composition, sharp details, bright natural colours and natural BG.

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