35 cm. The eyes and the legs are red. Has a topknot in the head and a spur in each wing. There is a black band in the throat that begins in the forehead and ends in the chest. The belly is white, the back and the wings are grayish brown and there are green and ferruginous spots in the wings.
From Panama to Tierra del Fuego.
Grasslands, open fields, lawns and sometimes soccer fields.
Insects that it catches on the ground. Sometimes catches small fish in shallow wetlands.
The nest is made of dry leaves (mainly grass) and placed in a small depression on the ground. Each male may have two females laying their eggs in the same nest. The female lays 2 to 4 eggs and incubates them alone. The eggs have a coloration similar to the ground. The female also feeds the offspring. The male protects the brood and becomes very aggressive when breeding.
It is always alert both in the day and in the night. At any noise it starts to scream. For this reason it works as a sentinel in farms warning any strange movement. It is very aggressive, mainly when breeding. The male attacks potential predators and even people with its spurs. It is very tough, thriving in very unwelcoming landscapes. In Southern Brazil it migrates during the cold months.
SANTIAGO, R. G. Southern Lapwing ( Vanellus chilensis ) Biblioteca Digital de Ciências, 22 feb. 2007. Available in: <http://www.ib.unicamp.br/lte/bdc/visualizarMaterial.php?idMaterial=430>. Access in: 18 may. 2013.
Educational Technology Laboratory Department of Biochemistry Institute of Biology Universidade Estadual de Campinas - Unicamp Cidade Universitária Zeferino Vaz Rua Monteiro Lobato, 255 Campinas SP, Brasil 13083-862