Bird of the Week – African wattle lapwing

THE African wattle lapwing was formerly known as the wattle plover, and in Afrikaans, the leikiewet.

The call is a high-pitched ‘kip, kip, kip’.

The bird’s distribution is from KZN north eastwards to Mozambique and Zimbawe.

A common resident at lower elevations, wattle lapwings like grassveld along streams and vleis and exposed areas on coastal plains. They are usually found in singles or pairs, are monogamous and only take a different mate when one dies.

They walk slowly and deliberately when foraging for insects, are active at night and squat on the ground when danger threatens.

Their breeding season is from July to January, whereafter they usually lay four buff-coloured eggs in a nest which is a scrape in soil, lined with dry plants or small stones.

Incubation lasts 30 to 32 days and fledglings remain for 40 days.

The bird’s tribal name is Nghelekele.

 

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