Kiewiet...on one leg.

Elizabeth Kendall

Bronkhorstspruit, South Africa

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Artist's Description

By tucking one leg in close to its body, the kiewiet is able to stay warmer in cooler weather. God sure has given the kiewiet (lapwing) a neat way to stay warm, hunt food, and stay “unwrinkled,” and He has given us an interesting bird to enjoy!
Crowned Lapwings (Afrikaans: kroonkiewiet) prefer short dry grassland which may be overgrazed or burnt, but avoid mountains. In higher-rainfall areas such as parts of Zambia and Zimbabwe, they occur mainly as dry-season visitors. In dry regions of northern Botswana however, they are attracted in large numbers when good rainfall occurs. In Southern Africa their highest concentrations are to be found in the dry central Kalahari region.
Although generally outnumbered by Blacksmith Lapwings, they are the most widespread and locally the most numerous lapwing species in their area of distribution. Their numbers have increased in the latter part of the 20th-century after benefiting from a range of human activities. They live up to 20 years.
Canon PowerShot S51S
PHOTOGRAPHY: Feathered Friends
FEATURED in Wildlife of Southern Africa
6 Aug. 2011.

FEATURED in Down on the Farm
6 Aug. 2011.
FEATURED in The world as we see it or as we missed it
6 Aug. 2011.
FEATURED in Breathtaking Wild Animals and Plants
19 Sept. 2011.
Birds’ legs have an adaptation called “rete mirabile” that minimizes heat loss. The arteries that transport warm blood into the legs lie in contact with the veins that return colder blood to the bird’s heart. The arteries warm the veins. By standing on one leg, a bird reduces by half the amount of heat lost through unfeathered limbs.

Artwork Comments

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