Black-winged Plover (Vanellus melanopterus)
a.k.a. Black-winged Lapwing

The Black-winged Plover is a small sized bird, 10.5" (27cm), although one of the larger Plovers. This Plover shows a broader band of black across its chest and has a larger white mark on its forehead than the smaller Senegal Plover. A blue-grey crown, face and neck, with grey-black breast. The belly and flanks are white. The black flight feathers (from which it gets its name) are beneath the brown back. Its legs and feet are pale red. A yellow eye, with purplish red orbital ring. The bill is black.

The Black-winged Plover is generally seen in small groups of up to 20 birds, although between September to November, they congregate in larger flocks, sometimes more than 150 birds. It is a noisy bird and divebombs any intruder, especially if breeding (March - July).

The Black-winged Plover eats insects, crustaceans, other invertebrates and sometimes small vertebrates. They hunt by either standing stock-still or running and pouncing. Occasionally, they are seen 'foot-trembling', to dislodge prey.

The Black-winged Plover is commonly seen resident of Kenya's west and central highland grasslands, cultivated fields and open plains above 1500 metres, including Mara GR between July and March.

Extra Facts
The Black-winged Plover's call is a distinctive "chi-chi-chi-chieeek". Can often be heard at night, if disturbed, with a "kay-kay-kay" call.

Photographed in Kenya's Nairobi National Park.

Categories & Keywords
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:bird, black-winged lapwing, black-winged plover, kenya, lapwing, plover, wildlife

Black-winged Plover ~ Standing

Black-winged Plover standing stock-still, looking for insects.

Black-winged Plover ~ With Chick

Black-winged Plover, with its chick, while flexing its black wing.