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Northern Lapwing - Vanellus vanellus

Vanellus vanellus

The very long crest feathers sported by this individual suggest it is a male.

This winter visitor to Portugal is much more numerous on the plains of the Alentejo than in the Algarve where open grass and arable fields are not a widespread habitat. Castro Marim nature reserve, Parque Ambiental de Vilamoura, Lagoa dos Salgados and the farmland in Vale Santo, Sagres are all regular sites where, in the last two locations in particular, flocks are often joined by European Golden Plovers. At least some of Portugal’s birds originate from west-central Asia as is indicated by their role as a ‘carrier species’ for the occasional vagrant Sociable Lapwing.

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Wild Orchids of the AlgarveAlgarve Wildlife, the natural year, Second Edition