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Saturday 10 December 2016

Lapwing's tricolour feathers fit the bill

Published 23/10/2016 | 02:30

Frank's favourite: The green, white and gold lapwing Photo: Andy Hay
Frank's favourite: The green, white and gold lapwing Photo: Andy Hay

Back in the 1990s, a committee of the Irish Wildlife Conservancy (IWC) sat down and discussed potential candidates to be ordained Ireland's national bird.

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Ornithologist Frank King, who was part of that original committee, says their choice - the lapwing - remains the most suitable candidate to be our national bird, which has been the subject of vigorous debate among our readers since we began a campaign to find the public's favourite feathered friends

"The lapwing is widely distributed and its wispy crest and floppy wing beat are distinctive," said Frank.

"From a distance it looks black and white but closer inspection shows a shimmering green iridescence and a snowy white breast, augmented by a buff coloured blaze beneath the tail that might, at a stretch, be described as orange.

"It is full of character and will swoop and dive on animals that come close to its nest in grassy fields or humans who fail to tread carefully."

Tom Lynch, from Ennis, points out that for many years the lapwing was depicted on the IWC's stationery.

Sunday Independent

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