Along with several other farmland bird species, the lapwing population has declined significantly – by 80% since 1960. Most of the decrease is attributable to changes in farming practices/land use. Nest failures on arable land come from egg losses during cultivation and from predation, and poor chick survival due to crop growth.
So when we discovered a field with nesting lapwing we were keen to monitor their progress and find ways of increasing their fledging success rate in the long term.
Four nests were located, each with 4 eggs. Broods of 4, 4, and 3 chicks hatched from 3 of the nests, the fourth nest failing.
Two chicks were subsequently ringed from one of the broods, but with the high density of red kites in the area, it is unlikely many of the chicks will survive to fledge.