The Sociable Lapwing
File:200px-Sociableplover70.jpg The Sociable Lapwing or Sociable Plover (Vanellus gregarius) is a wader in the lapwing family of birds.
It breeds on open grassland from Iraq into central Asia. Three to five eggs are laid in a ground nest. These birds migrate south in winter to Pakistan and north east Africa. This lapwing is a very rare vagrant in western Europe, where this gregarious bird is usually found with Northern Lapwings. It feeds in a similar way, picking insects and other small prey mainly from grassland or arable.
This attractive medium-sized lapwing has longish black legs and a short black bill. Summer adults have grey backs and breast, dark belly and white undertail. The head has a striking pattern, with a black crown and eyestripe, the latter being bordered above and below with white. The upper neck is ochre. Its longish black legs, white tail with a black terminal band and distinctive brown, white and grey wings make it almost unmistakable in flight. The call is a harsh kereck.
Winter adults have a less distinct head pattern, slightly browner back and breast, and white belly. Young birds have a scaly back, and only vestiges of the head pattern.
In 2004 BirdLife International categorised this bird as critically endangered, due to a rapid population decline for poorly understood reasons. The current population was estimated to be between 600 and 1,800.
The following disclaimer relates only to the text above this line.
Animal in Armenia
Rare species. Included in the Red Book of the former Soviet Union.
Habitat in Armenia
Registered in the valley of Arax and around Geghama mountains during flights.
Number in the wild
Reasons for decrease in number
Was always a rare bird in Armenia.
Number in captivity
Not kept in the zoos of the former Soviet Union.
Measures of protection taken
Special measure not developed. Hunting is forbidden in the former Soviet Union.