It is 24–28 cm (9.4–11.0 in) long with a 60–70 cm (24–28 in) wingspan. It has short legs, long pointed wings, a long forked tail, and a short bill, which is an adaptation to aerial feeding. The back and head are brown, and the wings are brown with darker flight feathers. The belly is white. The underwings are chestnut, but look dark below.
Very good views are needed to distinguish this species from other pratincoles, such as the black-winged pratincole and the oriental pratincole, which may occur in its range. The latter species also has a chestnut underwing, but is shorter-tailed.
- G. p. pratincola, (Linnaeus, 1766): Southern Europe & North Africa to Pakistan
- G. p. fuelleborni, (Neumann, 1910): Sub-Saharan Africa
Its 2–4 eggs are laid on the ground.
Distribution and habitat
The collared pratincole is a bird of open country, and is often seen near water in the evening, hawking for insects. It is found in the warmer parts of Europe, southwest Asia and Africa. It is migratory, wintering in tropical Africa, and is rare north of the breeding range.
Status and conservation
The collared pratincole is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Glareola pratincola". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Coursers, noddies, gulls, terns, auks and sandgrouse". International Ornithological Congress. Retrieved 2015-01-08.
- Collared pratincole videos, photos & sounds on the Internet Bird Collection
- Oiseaux Photos
- Glareola pratincola in the Flickr: Field Guide Birds of the World
- Ageing and sexing (PDF; 1.4 MB) by Javier Blasco-Zumeta & Gerd-Michael Heinze (Spanish)
- Collard pratincole - Species text in The Atlas of Southern African Birds.
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