. הצבעים השולטים בו שחור ולבן
. הקודקוד, הגרון והבטן לבנים
. החזה, קצות הכנפים והזנב שחורים
. בראשו ציצית קטנה ודרבן ברגלו
. בית גידולו נופים פתוחים ליד מקווי מים מתוקים או מלוחים
. נוהג להתלהק בחורף
. בארץ יציב ומצוי ברוב חלקי הארץ הנמוכים
Subspecies and Distribution.
Vanellus spinosus E Mediterranean and Middle East up River Nile to C and S Sudan, and S of Sahara from Senegal through Nigeria to Ethiopia, and S to Uganda and Kenya.
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27 cm, 130-180 g, wingspan 70-80 cm. Crown, forehead and throat black, cheeks and sides of neck white. Breast, upper belly and flanks black. Dark red eyes, black spurs.
Female as male, but spurs shorter. No seasonal variation. Juvenile has black parts of plumage brownish, speckled with white. Feathers of upperparts have broad buff fringes.
Usually on dry ground, but rarely far from water. Inhabits great variety of habitats, including cultivated fields or grassland, near pools, lakes, rivers or lagoons, on mudflats, sandflats, sodaflats, flooded fields, beaches and dunes. Sometimes in ponds and marshes.
Food and Feeding
Feeds mainly insects, especially beetles, also grasshoppers, termites, ants, flies, and spiders. Occasionally crustaceans, molluscs, small lizards,tadpoles and adult frogs, fish and seeds.
Takes few rapid steps followed by stabbing at prey, also flushes prey by foot trembling.
In tropical Africa, laying dates usually locally restricted, but great geographical variation.
Israel Apr-Jul, Greece late Apr-May. Monogamous. Nests solitarily or in loose colonies. Territory aggressively defended against most other bird species, especially waders. Territory sometimes occupied year round.
Nest on bare, dry ground, usually a shallow scrape, unlined or lined with grass or other plant material and debris, or with a rim of earth, small shells or stones. 2-4 eggs, often lays second clutch, and sometimes third, incubation by female while male tends chicks of first clutch. Chick cinnamon buff above, mottled grey and streaked black,with cheeks buff and hindneck white, lacks hind toe.
In Africa resident, locally making erratic movements. In places moves into drier areas during rainy season, but leaves driest areas.
In general, not very sensitive to seasonal water level changes. Local numbers can vary seasonally due to movements.
Local migration in E Africa, with some birds occurring to Tanzania. Populations of Greede and Turkey migrate S in Oct, but main destinations unclear, some birds to Red Sea coast and presumably elsewhere in Africa. Middle East population probably dispersive or resident. Egyptian population resident.
Status and Conservation.
Not globally threatened. Probably 25.000 birds in Europe, 15,000 birds occur in Egypt in winter.
In Israel subspecies Vanellus spinosus. Common resident breeder mainly in northern and central Israel. fairly common in winter.