Family Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)


Madagascar Pratincole (Glareola ocularis)


French: Glaréole malgache German: Madagaskarbrachschwalbe Spanish: Canastera malgache

Glareola ocularis

J. P. Verreaux

, 1833,





Madagascar (except extreme S & SW). Non-breeding visitor to E Africa from S Somalia to N Mozambique, mainly in coastal Kenya (dunes N of Malindi) and Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

23–25 cm; 82–103 g. Above dark olive-brown; forecrown dark chocolate-brown; rump white; lores and ear-coverts blackish; short white line below and behind eye... read more


Reasonably vocal, giving descending “vik vik, vikavik, vikavik” in flight or “veet ee veet - veet... read more


In Madagascar, breeds on rocky islets in permanent rivers and coastal waters; recorded to 1500 m.... read more

Food and feeding

Mostly insects, including Hymenoptera, Neuroptera (lacewings) and beetles; reported to also take small terrestrial crustaceans and seeds of... read more


Poorly known. Lays Oct–Dec, especially Nov. Small loose colonies (c. 2–20 pairs) on rocky islets in coastal waters and rivers;... read more


Post-breeding, birds migrate to spend period Mar–Sept on E coast of Africa, from Mozambique N... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Fairly common, but poorly known with an estimated population of 5000–10,000 individuals or 3300–6700 mature birds according to BirdLife International... read more

Recommended citation

Maclean, G.L. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Madagascar Pratincole (Glareola ocularis). 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 5 April 2020).