The small pratincole is a resident breeder in India, Western Pakistan, Bangladesh, Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. It breeds from December to March on gravel or sand banks near rivers and lakes, laying 2-4 eggs in a ground scrape. Breeding areas include small areas in northern Karnataka (manvi district raichur.(and along the Hemavathi River) and northern Kerala near Kannur.
This bird has short legs, long pointed wings and a short tail. Its short bill is an adaptation to aerial feeding. On the ground, it looks mainly pale grey (hence lactea, milky). The crown of the head is brown.
The wings are grey above with black primaries and black and white bars at the rear edge of the inner flight feathers. The underwings are mainly black. The tail is white with a black terminal triangle. The belly is white.
The small pratincole is a species of open country, and is often seen near water in the evening, hawking for insects.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Glareola lactea". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Worth, C Brooke (1953). "Ecological notes on a colony of Small Swallow-Plovers in Mysore State". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 51 (3): 608–622.