Northern Lapwing call consists of loud, shrill ‘chew’ and a more plaintive ‘chew-ip’ (often rendered ‘pee-wit’). Display-flight ‘song’ consists of short ‘wee-ip’ calls in level flight followed by plaintive, drawn-out ‘cheewo- wee’ as the bird dives suddenly towards the ground, then a throbbing ‘wub, wub, wub.’ wing noise as the bird zigzags close to ground, followed by a shrill ‘chay-owee’ as it climbs suddenly into the air again. Also a shrill, repeated ‘weeew-we, wee-wee when intensely alarmed, the emphasis on the first syllable.
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) is a large, distinctive rather short-legged plover of damp grassland and farmland, forming large flocks in winter. The size is 29–31 cm in length, with a wingspan of 83–87 cm. A combination of bronze-green upperparts (which often appear black), pied head and underparts, long, wispy crest, and broad, round-ended wings renders it unmistakable.
Wingbeats are deep and rather slow, creating a characteristic twinkling effect in distant flocks as white on underparts and underwing coverts are intermittently exposed. Northern Lapwing flight is often highly acrobatic.
Both sexes are similar, but the adult female has a head pattern less clearly defined, much less blue gloss on lesser and median coverts, and usually a shorter crest; the summer female has white flecking on the throat. The adult winter bird has buff suffusion to white areas of the face, chin, and throat white (not black) and buff tips to mantle feathers and scapulars.
The young northern lapwing bird is separable with difficulty, compared with adult female winter, has less distinct face pattern, even shorter crest, narrower, browner breast band, and more obvious buff fringes to upper parts.
Moreover, the Northern Lapwing bird mapped range has bred Iceland. It is mostly found in grassland, marshes, wetland margins, salt marshes, and arable fields with low vegetation. When not breeding, the bird is sometimes found on coastal mudflats.