The crowned lapwing is easily recognized by its combination of brown and white colours, with most tellingly, a black crown intersected by an annular white halo. Adults are noisy and conspicuous. Crowned lapwings 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.