Collared Pratincole

Glareola pratincola

The Collared Pratincole is a migrant to South Africa, usually arriving to breed from about July and departing again by February. They’re found in open habitats – overgrazed grasslands, floodplains, sand banks and so on – near reliable large water sources like dams, lakes and estuaries. They’re most active by dusk and dawn, catching insects in flight and on the ground, and often follow herds of game or stock to catch the invertebrates they flush.

Adult Collared Pratincoles measure about 25cm in length with a weight of around 75g. While they’re usually seen in substantial flocks, often numbering into the thousands, they are monogamous breeders, laying clutches of 2 eggs in shallow depressions (like animal footprints) on the bare ground. Incubation takes a little less than 3 weeks and is shared between the parents. The chicks start flying when they’re about 4 weeks old.

The Collared Pratincole is very widely distributed over Africa, Europe and west and central Asia. and the IUCN lists it to be of least concern overall. In South Africa they are found, mostly during our spring and summer months, in the Lowveld and northern Kwazulu-Natal, and are considered rare and near-threatened.


29 thoughts on “Collared Pratincole

  1. H.J. for avian101

    This bird has the shape of a small gull. However, has no relation to them, it’s cataloged as related to swallows and swifts. Weird, isn’t it? Thank you, D. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


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