Crown, fore part of the neck and breast, greenish black; occipital feathers very much elongated, slightly recurved: back and scapulars olive-green.
V. cristatus, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. II. p. 550. Crested or Green Lapwing;, Selb. Must. vol. II. p. 221. pl. 34. Lapwing, Mont. Orn. Diet. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. II. p. 79.
Entire length twelve inches six lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) ten lines and a half, (from the gape) one inch and half a line; of the tarsus one inch ten lines; of the tail four inches six lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing eight inches seven lines: breadth, wings extended, twenty-eight inches five lines.
(Winter plumage). Occipital feathers very much elongated, filiform, and turned upwards at the extremities: forehead, crown, crest, fore part of the neck, and upper part of the breast, of a shining greenish black; throat, region of the eyes, and sides of the neck, white: back, scapulars, and wing-coverts, olive-green, glossed with blue and purplish red: quills black; the first four primaries tipped with white: lower part of the breast, and all the belly, white; upper and under tail-coverts pale ferruginous: basal half of the tail white; the remaining portion black, tipped with white; outer feather almost entirely white: bill dusky: feet brownish red. (Summer plumage). The black on the neck of a deeper tint, and extending over the throat; the occipital crest somewhat longer; the green and blue reflections on the upper parts more brilliant. (Young of the year). The crest shorter; throat variegated with white and cinereous brown; beneath the eyes a dusky streak; all the feathers, as well on the upper as under parts, tipped with reddish yellow: feet olivaceous ash. (Egg). Olive ground, blotched and spotted nearly all over with blackish brown: long. diam. one inch eleven lines; trans, diam. one inch four lines.
Common in most parts of the kingdom, frequenting fens and moist fields, as well as heaths, warrens, and upland situations. Has a peculiar note resembling the word pee-wit. Feeds on insects, worms, and snails. Breeds early in the Spring, depositing its eggs, which are four in number, on the bare ground. Collects in vast flocks at the approach of Autumn.