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PRATINCOLES -Birds you likes to know more..

Updated on September 5, 2012

Pratincoles are small birds that come under the family Glareolidae. They are seen commonly in seashores, inside water bodies and islands. They are migratory birds. They travel from Europe to Africa .They lay eggs in temperate regions.

They have small body with short legs, long tails and wings. They catch their prey at morning and evening.

Types of Pratincole:

  1. Small Pratincole (Glareola lactea)
  2. Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum)
  3. Grey Pratincole (Glareola cinerea)
  4. Madagascar Pratincole (Glareola ocularis)
  5. Black winged Pratincole (Glareola nordmanni)
  6. Rock Pratincole (Glareola nuchalis)
  7. Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

Small Pratincole (Glareola lactea)

The ‘small pratincole’ is also known as Small Indian Pratincole. It is called in this name because it breeds normally in south India and Southeast Asia. They are small in size with short legs, long pointed wings and short tail.

It can be identified by following ways.

  • Brown crown around the head.
  • Grey wings with black upper feathers and white-black at the inner body feathers.
  • Lower part of the body is white coloured.

They like insects and other small worms. They mostly have seen in west Bengal, Kerala and northern Karnataka.

Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum)

They are known by the name grass hopper bird. They usually hunt their prey on the wings, but have the capability to hunt on the round. These birds take rest on hot noon times and come out at evening.

These migratory birds fly from northern Pakistan to India and china. They normally make nest in Kashmir region.

They can be identified by following ways.

  • Short legs, long pointed wings and long tails.
  • Have short beak.
  • Brown coloured head and wings.
  • Lower body is white and light brown.

Due to changing climatic condition the migration of these are being stopped and concentrate on one area.


Grey Pratincole (Glareola cinerea)

They are similar to Oriental Pratincole, except some colour change. Body colour is a mixed white-gray colour. They can be seen normally in African countries.

Due to climatic change its population is decreasing.

Madagascar Pratincole (Glareola ocularis)

These species are normally found in Madagascar islands and other African countries. They like to breed on wet grass lands, lakeshores, grasslands, marshes etc. They like to feed on prey on ground than air.

They have the following identities.

  • Green mixed black wings.
  • Long thin tail.
  • Light brown lower body.


Black winged Pratincole (Glareola nordmanni)

They usually hunt their prey on the wings, but have the capability to hunt on the round. These birds are normally seen in humid parts of South east Europe and South west Asia.

They can be identified by following ways.

  • Long legs, long pointed wings and long tails.
  • Have short beak.
  • Black coloured head and wings.
  • Lower body is white and light brown.

Rock Pratincole (Glareola nuchalis)

They are normally seen in African countries. They mainly make nest near to rocky places. They have small red mixed black beak, brown head cap and red legs. At the end of their tail we can see white strips.

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)

These can be seen in various parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. They like to capture prey on air, and they have the following features.

  • Long pointed wings, short legs, small beak and long tail
  • Brown head and darker brown features.
  • White lower body part.



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