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Photo Information
Copyright: Hans Hendriks (hansh) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 1 N: 741] (2762)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-03-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 7D, Sigma 50-500mm f4/6.3 DG EX Apo HSM
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-03-03 7:26
Viewed: 3047
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Vanellinae are any of various crested plovers, family Charadriidae, noted for its slow, irregular wing beat in flight and a shrill, wailing cry. Its length is 10-16 inches. They are a subfamily of medium-sized wading birds which also includes the plovers and dotterels. The Vanellinae are collectively called lapwings but also contain the ancient Red-kneed Dotterel. A lapwing can be thought of as a larger plover.

The traditional terms "plover", "lapwing" and "dotterel" were coined long before modern understandings of the relationships between different groups of birds emerged: in consequence, several of the Vanellinae are still often called "plovers", and the reverse also applies, albeit more rarely, to some Charadriinae (the "true" plovers and dotterels).

In Europe, "lapwing" often refers specifically to the Northern Lapwing, as the only member of this group to occur in most of the continent.

While authorities are generally agreed that there about 25 species of Vanellinae, classifications within the subfamily remain confused. At one extreme, Peters recognised no less than 20 different genera[citation needed] for the birds listed in 2 genera here; other workers have gone as far as to group all the "true" lapwings (except the Red-kneed Dotterel) into the single genus, Vanellus. Current opinion appears to be that a more moderate position is appropriate, but it is not clear which genera to split. The Handbook of Birds of the World provisionally lumps all Vanellinae in Vanellus except the Red-kneed Dotterel which is in the monotypic Erythrogonys. Its plesiomorphic habitus reminds of plovers, but details like the missing hallux (hind toe) are like in lapwings: it is still not entirely clear whether it is better considered the basalmost plover or lapwing.

Many coloration details of the Red-kneed Dotterel also occur here and there among the living members of the main lapwing clade. Its position as the most basal of the living Vanellinae or just immediately outside it thus means that their last common ancestor - or even the last common ancestor of plovers and lapwings - almost certainly was a plover-sized bird with a black crown and breast-band, a white feather patch at the wrist, no hallux, and a lipochromic (probably red) bill with a black tip. Its legs most likely were black or the color of the bill's base.

The fossil record of the Vanellinae is scant and mostly of rather recent origin; no Neogene lapwings seem to be known. On the other hand, it appears as if early in their evolutionary history the plovers, lapwings and dotterels must indeed have been almost one and the same, and certainly they are hard to distinguish osteologically even today. Thus, since the Red-kneed Dotterel is so distinct that it might arguably be considered a monotypic subfamily, increasing the reliability of dating its divergence from a selection of true lapwings and plovers would also give a good idea of charadriid wader evolution altogether.

A mid-Oligocene - c.28 mya (million years ago) - fossil from Rupelmonde in Belgium has been assigned to Vanellus, but even if the genus were broadly defined it is entirely unclear if the placement is correct. Its age ties in with the appearance of the first seemingly distinct Charadriinae at about the same time, and with the presence of more basal Charadriidae a few million years earlier. However, the assignment of fragmentary fossils to Charadriinae or Vanellinae is not easy. Thus it is very likely that the charadriid waders originate around the Eocene-Oligocene boundary - roughly 40-30 mya - but nothing more can be said at present. If the Belgian fossil is not a true lapwing, there are actually no Vanellinae fossils known before the Quaternary.

The Early Oligocene fossil Dolicopterus from Ronzon (France) may be such an ancestral member of the Charadriidae or even the Vanellinae, but it has not been studied in recent decades and is in dire need of review.

Apart from the prehistoric Vanellus, the extinct lapwing genus Viator has been described from fossils. Its remains were found in the tar pits of Talara in Peru and it lived in the Late Pleistocene. Little is known of this rather large lapwing; it may actually belong in Vanellus.

Interestingly, the remaining Charadrii are highset and/or chunky birds, even decidedly larger than a lot of the scolopacid waders. The evolutionary trend regarding the Charadriidae - which make up most of the diversity of the Charadrii - thus runs contrary to Cope's Rule.

Argus, jhm, Juyona, jlinaresp, horias, marianas, boreocypriensis, siggi has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-03-03 7:50]

Hello Hans,
A fine capture of a Lapwing taken from a great low POV with excellent sharpness and colours in great lighting. When they come to Sweden it is a sign of spring!
Thanks and kind regards,

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-03-03 8:13]

Hello Hans
Excellent capture taken with good light, vivid colors and sharp details

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-03-03 8:23]

Hallo Hans,
Prachtig, je bent er in geslaagd om die schitterende kleuren in de veren van de vleugels goed te laten zien. Ik heb ook veel kievitfoto's maar krijg die veren niet goed in het licht. Mooi laag standpunt en een uitstekende compositie en diepte in de foto.

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2010-03-03 9:03]

Dag Hans,

Ik dacht ook onmiddellijk aan een Kiviet met de kuif.
Maar blijkbaar is het een Pluvier, ten minste als ik alles in het engels begrijp.
De 7D doet het zeer goed met een Sigma lens, we krijgen een zeer mooie en scherpe foto te zien.
Pracht werk, bedankt.


  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2010-03-03 9:36]

Hola amigo,
superb capture
good focus and pov.
saludos Hans

Hello Hans,
An excellent well-balanced light. Perfect detail and coloring on the bird. I like the composition and layered approach that has succeeded in this picture. Good work. Good note, TFS, Jesús

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-03-03 11:24]

Hello Hans
Waw...what a interesting bird today!
I like the details.
Colors and BG are great!

Hi Hans
I like the details and colors.
Great capture this lovely bird!

This is such a lovely bird, Hans, I love the feather on the head and the rainbow-colours of the ploumage.
Thanks and greetings
Sabine - wishnugaruda

hallo Hans
deze is super hij staat er goed scherp op met die mooie lichte achtergrond
lijkt net 3D
mooie kleuren en super scherp
great shot Hans
groetjes lou

Hi MF Hans,

Marvelous capture of a pretty lapwing in a lovely posture from lateral and low POW! You've presented it really well. Good use of the DOF, helps to keep full focus on the lapwing.
TFS and have anice night!


  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-03-03 23:18]

Hello Hans.
Lovely shot - as usual - great pose and composition, plus great detail.
Best regards Siggi

Ciao Hans. Perfect focus on eye and exciting fetater's colours tones. Good light in a nice compo.


Excelente luz y preciso enfoque. Un ave que vemos por aquí solamente en invierno.
Saludos Hans: J. Ignasi.

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