Family Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)

Least Concern

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola)


French: Glaréole à collier German: Rotflügel-Brachschwalbe Spanish: Canastera común
Other common names: Common Pratincole

Hirundo Pratincola


, 1766,



Closely related to G. maldivarum and G. nordmanni (although some range overlap with latter). Formerly considered to include G. maldivarum, and even on occasion G. nordmanni, as races. Has hybridized with G. nordmanni#R. Proposed form limbata (Red Sea coasts) included in nominate; possible race boweni of W Africa included in fuelleborni, as also is riparia (from S parts of African range). Species has on occasion been regarded as monotypic. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. p. pratincola (Linnaeus, 1766) – S Europe and N Africa to Kazakhstan and Pakistan; winters in sub-Saharan Africa N of 5° N.
  • G. p. fuelleborni Neumann, 1910 – sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal E to Ethiopia (Rift Valley) and S to DRCongo, Namibia, N Botswana, S Mozambique and E South Africa.
  • G. p. erlangeri Neumann, 1920 – coastal plains of S Somalia and N Kenya.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–25 cm; 60–98 g; wingspan 60–70 cm. Above brown, tinged olive, with white rump; long wingtips and deeply forked tail black; throat ochre-yellow, bordered... read more


    Mainly vocalizes in flight. Shrill, staccato and trilled calls, including a sharp, tern-like “... read more


    Flat and open areas, fields, steppe plains in Eurasia, usually near water; in Africa open ground,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Locusts and grasshoppers, beetles, termites, flies and other, mainly large, insects; also some spiders and molluscs. Research in S Spain... read more


    Lays May–Aug in Europe; May–Jun in Jordan; Apr–Jul Pakistan; in Africa, Mar–May in Sierra Leone, Mar–Jun in... read more


    Nominate race migrates after breeding to savannas of Sahel, where probably overlaps with birds of... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Overall decline in range and numbers in Europe. Total of 6700–22,000 pairs breeding in Europe: largest populations are 250... read more

    Recommended citation

    Maclean, G.L. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 September 2019).