|Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves (Birds) Order: Charadriiformes Family: Charadriidae|
Charadriids (birds belonging to the Charadriidae family) are chunky, small to medium-sized shorebirds with short to medium-length legs, and a bill that is usually shorter than the head. Rarely colorful, most are black-and-white with shades of gray and brown, though many are boldly patterned with either dark rings around the neck and strong facial markings or boldly marked black and white wings. Many lapwings have colorful wattles on the head and spurs on the wings. The spurs are used as weapons in territorial disputes and in nest defense. The hind toe is absent or greatly reduced in all species.
Charadriids are primarily birds of open areas and are found along shorelines of water bodies and flooded areas or on moors or tundra. Open grasslands are often favored. Many species take advantage of human-altered habitats such as agricultural lands and sewage ponds. While strong and graceful fliers, they are most often seen rapidly running. They are active both during the day and night. Most are quite vocal and their vocalizations have often given rise to local names. Most forage by rapidly running, then suddenly stopping, looking, and pecking at prey. Foot trembling or patting of the substrate, presumably to reveal potential prey, is seen in many species. Most Charadriids lay their eggs in scrapes on the ground. 23 species of Charadriidae are found in India: