The Banded Lapwing (Vanellus tricolor) are medium to large plovers with with a broad black breast band, black cap and white throat. A striking looking bird with distinctive markings that include a bold white stripe through the eye, yellow eye-ring, small red wattle over the bill, black on the side of the throat and a white belly. The upperparts are mainly grey-brown with white underparts and the legs are pinkish-grey.

The lapwings have an upright stance, with a slow walk and then breaking into a faster trot, especially when alarmed. They fly with quick, clipped wing-beats.

Endemic to Australia, the Banded Lapwings are found throughout the mainland, except the far north, and Tasmania. They prefer open, short grasslands (including urban areas), agricultural land, dry semi-arid regions, bare and stony areas.

The Banded Lapwing feed on seeds and a variety of insects, including grasshoppers, caterpillars, beetles, cockroaches, worms, spiders, ants, termites, snails and slugs. They have been seen to do foot-tapping, a technique to disturb insects from cover, before catching them.

More images can be seen on the Alice Springs Desert Park – Banded Lapwing.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Charadriidae
  • Genus: Vanellus
  • Species: V. tricolor
  • Binomial name: Vanellus tricolor