Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

Collared Pratincole

[order] CHARADRIIFORMES | [family] Glareolidae | [latin] Glareola pratincola | [UK] Collared Pratincole | [FR] Glareole a collier | [DE] Rotflugel-Brachschwalbe | [ES] Canastera | [NL] Vorkstaartplevier


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Glareola pratincola AF, EU widespread AF
Glareola pratincola erlangeri s Somalia, n Kenya
Glareola pratincola fuelleborni Senegal to s Kenya to e Zambia, Zimbabwe and e South Africa
Glareola pratincola pratincola s Europe and n Africa to Pakistan n tropical Africa
Glareola pratincola riparia Angola, sw Zambia, ne Namibia, nw Botswana Mozambique

Physical charateristics

Above brown, tinged olive, with white rump. Long wingtipes and deeply forked tail black. Throat ochre yellow, bordered narrowly with black. Breast brown shading to white belly. Underwing coverts and axillaries deep rich chestnut, narrow but red with black tip, legs blackish.
Races separated on small color differences, African birds smaller and darker, not distinguishable in the field.

Listen to the sound of Collared Pratincole

[audio: Pratincole.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 60 cm wingspan max.: 70 cm
size min.: 24 cm size max.: 28 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Africa, Eurasia : widespread


Flat, arid and open areas, fields, steppe plains in Eurasia, usually near water. In Africa open ground, often recently burned, overgrazed grassland, ploughed fields, alkaline flats or sandflats, usually near water, especially along larger rivers and estuaries.


Colonial nester in small groups of 20, up to 100 pairs, on dry mudflats or sandflats, sometimes forms mixed colonies with Glareola nordmanni. Nest is usually a shallow scrape or natural depression in ground, such as a hoofprint. Females lay 3 eggs in the species’ European and Asian breeding grounds, but only two in African habitats, incubation 18 days by both sexes. Chick mottled above with charcoal and black, below white. Fed by both parents by regurgitation or presentation of food in bill tip. First breeding at one year old.

Feeding habits

Grasshoppers and locusts, beetles, termites, and other large insects.
Forages in flocks, chiefly on the wing, catching aerial insects in graceful flight, often at dawn and dusk, sometimes on moonlit nights, also chases prey with fast run on ground.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Collared Pratincole status Least Concern


A summer visitor to west Palearctic, wintering in Africa. Principal winter range believed to lie along southern edge of Sahara from Senegal to Ethiopia, where not readily separable from local breeding populations.
Autumn migration in Mediterranean basin and Middle East mainly late August to October, and relative paucity of passage observations indicates unbroken flights into Africa. Palearctic migrants present in Sudan October-March. Return movement begins late March or April, with arrivals in European breeding quarters mainly April to mid-May.

Distribution map

Collared Pratincole distribution range map

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