Conspicuous as the strongly contrasted colours of its plumage and its very] peculiar flight make it, it is remarkable that it maintains its ground when so many of its allies have been almost exterminated, for the lapwing is the object perhaps of greater persecution than any other European bird that is not a plunderer.
What seems to be the secret of the lapwing holding its position is the adaptability of its nature to various kinds of localities.
Frequenting parts of the open country so very divergent in character, and as remarkable for the peculiarity of its flight as for that of its cry, the lapwing is far more often observed in nearly all parts of the British Islands than any other of the group Limicolae.
In Sweden Vipa, in Germany Kiebitz, in Holland Kiewiet, and in France Dixhuit, are names of the lapwing, given to it from its usual cry.
The lapwing's conspicuous crest seems to have been the cause of a common blunder among English writers of the middle ages, who translated the Latin word Upupa, property hoopoe, by lapwing, as being the crested bird with which they were best acquainted.
In like manner other writers of the same or an earlier period latinized lapwing by Egrettides (plural), and rendered that again into English as egrets - the tuft of feathers misleading them also.
Allied to the lapwing are several forms that have been placed by ornithologists in the genera Hoplopterus, Chettusia, Lobivanellus, Defilippia.
In some of them the hind toe, which has already ceased to have any function in the lapwing, is wholly wanting.
Under the name of Dukipath, in the authorized version of the Bible translated "lapwing" (Lev.