LAPWING (Tringa Vanellus). Is about the size of a pigeon. Its bill is black; eyes, large and hazel; the top of the head black. glossed with green ; a tuft of long narrow feathers issues from the back part of the head, and turns upwards at the end; some of them four inches in length; the sides of the head and neck, of a dingy white, interrupted by a blackish streak above and below the eye: the back part of the neck, a pale brown; the fore part, as far as the breast, black : the back and the wing coverts, dark green, glossed with purple and green reflections; the quills black, the first four tipped with white; the breast and belly, of a pure white; the upper tail coverts and vent, pale chestnut ; the tail, white at the base; the rest of it, black with pale tips; the outer feathers almost wholly white; the legs red; claws black; the hind claw very short.
The lapwing is a constant inhabitant of this country, and is mostly found on marshy and other cold lands: its food, chiefly insects and worms, until severe weather binds the surface of the earth, and then it is obliged to seek its food on the seashore. In spring, and during the time of incubation, it attracts notice from the peculiar and incessant cry it utters, plainly distinctive to the ear, from which it derives the name of Pe-wit. When seen on the ground, it is an active, elegant, and lively bird; and when in the air it sports and frolics in all directions. The female lays four eggs, of a dirty olive spotted with black, forming a slight nest, with a few bents, upon the ground, which, from the eggs being nearly in colour to the moor land, and like the plovers, are not easily discovered. The young, as soon as hatched, run like chickens.
The lapwing is a shy wary bird; and, when in flight, it is with difficulty the gunner can get a favourable shot; but during the breeding season they lose their usual caution, and will frequently fly within twenty yards of the person, making use of many stratagems to draw intruders from their nests.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835
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