Family Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)

Least Concern

Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum)


French: Glaréole orientale German: Orientbrachschwalbe Spanish: Canastera oriental

Glareola (Pratincola) Maldivarum

J. R. Forster

, 1795,

open sea in the latitude of the Maldive Islands


Closely related to G. pratincola and G. nordmanni. Formerly included in G. pratincola. Monotypic.


Extreme S Siberia, E Mongolia and NE China (Heilongjiang), S to N India, Sri Lanka, SE Asia and Taiwan; also locally in W Japan and Ryukyu Is; has bred in S Pakistan, N Philippines and Borneo. Winters from Maldives, India and SE Asia through Indonesia and New Guinea to Australia.

Descriptive notes

23–25 cm; 59–95 g; wingspan 58–64 cm. Above olive-brown, with white rump; throat ochre-yellow, edged with narrow black collar; upper breast brown, shading... read more


Generally considered to be much like that of G. pratincola: sharp “kyik”,... read more


In Asia inhabits steppes, open grassland, dry floodplains, tidal mudflats, rice stubble, ploughed... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and other terrestrial arthropods, especially grasshoppers, crickets and beetles; also, in non-breeding quarters, winged termites... read more


Lays Apr–Jun. Nests in loose colonies on open plains, often after recent grass fire; also on grassy islands in rivers with River... read more


NE populations are long-distance migrants S to winter Oct–Apr mainly in SE Asia, Indonesia... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Numbers in winter in Indian Subcontinent not accurately known, but estimated at 25,000–1,000,000 birds; in rest of winter... read more

Recommended citation

Maclean, G.L. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Oriental Pratincole (Glareola maldivarum). 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 January 2019).