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Red-wattled Lapwing | by ZILL NIAZI
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Red-wattled Lapwing

The Red-wattled Lapwing (Vanellus indicus) is a lapwing or large plover, a wader in the family Charadriidae. It has characteristic loud alarm calls which are variously rendered as did he do it or pity to do it leading to colloquial names like the did-he-do-it bird. 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. The wings and back are light brown with a purple sheen, 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 wing bars formed by the white on the secondary coverts.

 

The diet of the lapwing includes a range of insects, snails and other invertebrates, mostly picked from the ground. They may also feed on some grains. They feed mainly during the day but they may also feed at night. They may sometimes make use of the legs to disturb insect prey.

 

In parts of India, a local belief is that the bird sleeps on its back with the legs upwards and an associated Hindi metaphor Tithiri se asman thama jayega ("can the pee-wit support the heavens?") is used when referring to persons undertaking tasks beyond their ability or strength.

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Taken on February 19, 2012