restricted access Lapwings
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White-crowned Lapwing L: 32 cm (13") This lapwing is identified by long yellow wattles, a white belly, and a grey head with a central white crown stripe . The back is brown, and the wings and tail are strikingly black-and-white, giving it a distinctive appearance, especially in flight . The superficially similar African Wattled Lapwing has a dark belly and red-based facial wattles . The White-crowned Lapwing gives a regularly repeated and characteristic high-pitched “peek” call . Although scarce in Kruger, numbering some 90 pairs, singles and pairs are conspicuous residents on large permanent rivers such as the Sabie, Levuvu and Limpopo . Birds forage for insects and small vertebrates almost exclusively along these riverbeds and the population in Kruger is being reduced by activities on river catchments outside the park . Lapwings Lapwings are tall, noisy, long-legged plovers that occur in both dry and wetland habitats. white-crowned lapwing african wattled lapwing blacksmith lapwing White-crowned Lapwing is slightly smaller than African Wattled Lapwing, has a white belly and lacks red at the base of the wattles. 44 Blacksmith Lapwing L: 30 cm (12") A striking grey, black and white lapwing, associated with water, this bird is boldly patterned, with a white crown and black face and breast, and dark legs . Immatures are browner than adults . A common breeding resident, it can be found at water bodies throughout Kruger and may also disperse into flooded grassland in the summer (December–March) . It often draws attention with its namesake ringing “tink” calls uttered in series, like a blacksmith hammering on an anvil . A bold and brave parent, this bird has been known to charge African Elephants, or to harass raptors flying overhead, to protect its chicks . AfricanWattled Lapwing L: 34 cm (13") A brown-bodied lapwing, with black-streaked throat and cheeks and white forehead, yellow facial wattles with distinctive fleshy red bases, and yellow legs . It has black-and-white wings and tail, but with brown on the inner wing extending to the bend . It is an uncommon resident in the southern half of Kruger, most frequently encountered in the Crocodile River valley; additional birds may visit from outside the park during the summer (December–March) . Pairs or small groups can be found in marshes, wet grasslands or flooded edges of lakes, pans and seeps, attracting attention with loud “peep-peeppeep ” calls . BIRDS OF RIVERS AND WETLANDS 45 ...