Wednesday, June 7

Collared pratincole

   ›      ›   Collared pratincole - Glareola pratincola

The collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola) is a wader belonging to the family of pratincoles and coursers, Glareolidae.

The collared pratincole species are distributed in northwest India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, southwest Asia, Middle East, southern Europe, northern Africa and central and eastern Africa. These pratincole species take most of their insect prey on the wing. There are three recognized subspecies of these pratincoles.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Collared Pratincole Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Collared pratincole - Overview

  • Scientific name: Glareola pratincola
  • Species author: (Linnaeus, 1766)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Hirundo Pratincola Linnaeus, 1766
  • Family: Glareolidae › Charadriiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Collared pratincole, Chinese: 领燕鸻,French: Glaréole à collier, German: Rotflügel-Brachschwalbe, Spanish: Canastera común, Russian: Луговая тиркушка, Japanese: ニシツバメチドリ, Tamil: Karuvalaya Tholkuruvi
  • Other names: Common Pratincole, European Pratincole, Red-winged Pratincole
  • Distribution: northwest India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, southwest Asia, Middle East, southern Europe, northern Africa, central and eastern Africa
  • Diet and feeding habits: large insects, locust, grasshoppers, beetles, termites, spiders, molluscs
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
The collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola) are closely related to the oriental pratincole (Glareola maldivarum) and black-winged pratincole (Glareola nordmanni).

The three recognized subspecies of collared pratincole are: Glareola pratincola pratincola (Linnaeus, 1766), Glareola pratincola fuelleborni Neumann, 1910 and Glareola pratincola erlangeri Neumann, 1920.

Appearance, physical description and identification

The collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola) is a small wader, measuring 20 to 25 cm in length and weighing 60 to 100 grams. The wingspan is 60 to 70 cm.

The upperparts of the collared pratincole are brown to olive brown with whitish rump. The chin and throat are ochre-yellow. There is a thin black collar originating at the base of the eyes and forming a necklace at the throat.

The breast is pale brown and the belly is white. The wings are long and pointed. The wings are brown with dark flight feathers. The underwings are chestnut. The tail is deeply forked and black.

The bill is short. It is red near the base and is black anteriorly. The irises are dark brown. The legs are short and dark gray in color. Their call is a trilled "chik-chik..chik-chik" sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Collared pratincole - Glareola pratincola
Birds of India - Image of Collared pratincole - Glareola pratincola by Alexandros Gassios

Birds of India - Photo of Collared pratincole - Glareola pratincola
Indian birds - Picture of Collared pratincole - Glareola pratincola by Ferran Pestaña

Indian birds - Image of Collared pratincole - Glareola pratincola
Birds of India - Photo of Collared pratincole - Glareola pratincola by Steve Garvie

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These collared pratincole species are distributed in northwest India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, southwest Asia, Middle East, southern Europe, northern Africa and central and eastern Africa.

In India, the breeding populations of the collared pratincole species occur in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana.

The collared pratincole nominate subspecies G. p. pratincola is distributed in southern Europe, northern Africa, Middle East, Afghanistan, India, western China, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. They winter in sub-Saharan Africa.

The collared pratincole subspecies G. p. erlangeri is distributed in coastal plains of southern Somalia and northern Kenya. The subspecies G. p. fuelleborni is distributed in central Africa, DR.Congo, Namibia, northern Botswana, southern Mozambique and eastern South Africa.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of the collared pratincole in Russia are Agrakhanski Bay, Temirgoiskiye lakes, Mouth of Yeya river, Kazachka and Delta of the River Don.

The IBA of the collared pratincole in Ukraine are Jansheijs'ke lake, Kazantip Cape, Aktash lake and Astanins'ka marsh, Kryva peninsula, Molochna river valley, Molochnyj Liman, Sasyk lake, Syvash Bay, Yagorlyts'ka and Tendrivs'ka Bays and Shagany-Alibej-Burnas lake-system.

Some of the IBA of the collared pratincole in Spain are Valdehornillos-Santa Amalia, Pela mountain range-Orellana reservoir, La Serena, Isla Cristina and Ayamonte marshes, Prado lagoon, El Moro marshes, Cádiz bay, Almenara marshes and Albufera de Valencia marshes.

The IBA of the collared pratincole in Saudi Arabia are Mahazat as-Sayd and Makkah waste-water stream. Some of the IBAs in Portugal are Albufeira do Caia, Tejo estuary, Sado estuary, Reguengos de Monsaraz, Évora plains, Castro Verde plains and Castro Marim.

Ecosystem and habitat

These collared pratincole species do not normally occur in forests. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 2200 meters. The artificial ecosystems of these pratincole species include ploughed fields, harvested agricultural lands and pastureland.

The natural ecosystems of these collared pratincole species include tropical and subtropical dry grasslands, steppe plains, intertidal salt flats and mud flats, coastal scrubland, freshwater lakes, streams, rivers and creeks.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of these collared pratincole species is mostly large insects. Grasshoppers, crickets, locust, cicada, beetles, flies, termites, spiders and molluscs are their primary food.

These pratincole species take most of their insect prey on the wing. They forage over water and also feed on the ground in ploughed fields, recently burnt open ground, overgrazed grassland, wastelands, rice-fields and scrubland.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these collared pratincole species is from May to August in southern Europe. The breeding season is during May and June in Middle East. The laying season is from April to July in Pakistan and northwest India.

These collared pratincole species form breeding colonies of 10 to 100 birds on flat open areas in steppe plains, margins of lakes, dried mudflats and sandflats. The nest is a shallow scrape or depression on the ground. The typical clutch may contain 2 or 4 highly mottled pale buff colored eggs.

Migration and movement patterns

The collared pratincole species are mostly migratory birds.

The collared pratincole species breed in Mediterranean region, Middle East, Southwest Asia, Afghanistan, southern Europe, Pakistan and northwest India. These northern populations migrate southwards for wintering in savannas of Sahel region in central Africa and also eastern Africa.

The collared pratincole are highly gregarious and roost in flocks in wintering habitat and return to breeding colonies in late February. Some of the populations in central, eastern and southern Africa are resident or nomadic.

Post breeding, the juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding within their range.

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola) is estimated to number between 160,000 to 600,000 individual birds. The overall population trend of these species is reported to be decreasing. Throughout its range it is reported to be common to uncommon. The generation length is 7.3 years. Its distribution size is about 52,700,000 sq.km.

The collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion, or under the population size criterion. Reduced insects populations due the use of herbicides and insecticides is the main threat that may endanger the survival of these pratincole species.

IUCN and CITES status

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the pratincole species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the collared pratincole (Glareola pratincola).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Glareola pratincola
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Glareolidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Glareola
Species:G. pratincola
Binomial name:Glareola pratincola
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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1.Collared pratincole image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/al_gas/26258442302/ (cropped)
Image author: Alexandros Gassios | License: CC BY-NC 2.0 as on 6/7/17
2.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ferranp/5144749659/ (cropped)
Image author: Ferran Pestaña | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 6/7/17
3.Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Collared_pratincole_(Glareola_pratincola).jpg (cropped)
Image author: Steve Garvie | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 6/7/17
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