Northern LapwingVanellus vanellus (Linnaeus)
Status Rare vagrant. There are eight records of this stray from Europe having occurred in Nova Scotia. The first appearance was at Ketch Harbour, Halifax County, where one dead from starvation was picked up on 17 March 1897 (Piers 1898). The next one was seen at Upper Prospect, Halifax County, where it was shot by a local hunter on 12 December 1905 and later acquired by the Nova Scotia Museum. Late in 1927 a remarkable visitation of Northern Lapwings arrived along our shores, with Newfoundland the focal point. Several seen near Lower L'Ardoise, Richmond County, from early December until about Christmas 1927 were trying to feed about swampy places (A.J. Matheson), and late in December 1927 one was shot at Pleasant Valley, Antigonish County (P.A. Taverner).
It was next reported from Little Dover, Guysborough County, where Mrs. S.K. Jarvis saw one about Christmas-time 1964. In 1966 there was a similar but smaller invasion. Of these, one of the birds was observed on 10 January by Murdoch Digout near his home in St. Peters, Richmond County, and picked up nearly dead on 2 February. Two others were seen on 20 January near Round Island, Mira Bay, Cape Breton County, by George Spencer, and another was heard calling during a snow storm at Halifax on 26 February 1966 by Christopher Helleiner, who was familiar with the species in England. In all, 32 Northern Lapwings were reported during the 1966 flight as having been seen in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Newfoundland, and at St. Pierre and Miquelon (Bagg 1967).
Remarks One of the birds of the 1927 invasion, killed at Bonavista, Newfoundland, on 27 December, was wearing a band placed on its leg as a nestling at Ullswater, Cumberland, England, in May 1926. Bagg (1967) has described the circumstances under which the 1966 invasion and others like it were impelled to North America by bad weather in western Europe and unusual easterly winds in the North Atlantic.
Questions? Comments? E-mail us at: Museumemail@example.com
Credits and copyright information. Last updated February 20, 1998
Best viewed with Netscape 3.0 or Internet Explorer 3.0 or later.
For further information contact Webmaster, Nova Scotia Museum.