Oriental Pratincole    Glareola  maldivarum


  • Glareola : Latin word for gravel
  • Maldivarum : From Maldives island

Vernacular Names: Mar: PrachyaArli

Distribution in India: Widespread resident easily found in Gujarat, Maharashtra and North Eastern States.

Description: Size of 23–25 cm; wt. of 59–95 g; wingspan of 58–64 cm.The upper parts are olive-brown, with white rump; throat ocher-yellow, edged with narrow black collar; upper breast brown, shading to rufous, then white on belly and under tail; flight feathers black, underwing chestnut; forked tail black, white at base; bill black with red gape; legs blackish. Collar is indistinct in non-breeding plumage. Both the sexes are similar.  The juvenile is mottled black and buff above.

Habitat: It is found in steppes, open grassland, dry floodplains, tidal mudflats, rice stubble, ploughed and fallow fields and open pastures, usually near water.

Food Habits: It eats insects and other terrestrial arthropods, especially grasshoppers, crickets and beetles; also, in non-breeding quarters, winged termites which may emerge in large numbers before rain. Prey caught mainly in flight but some also on ground. They are attracted to bush fires. They are crepuscular.

Breeding Habits: They breed in Apr-Jun.It is a colonial nester and nest with Terns and Skimmers. The nest is a shallow scrape, or no nest at all; on sandbank in river, even up to water’s edge. They lay a clutch of 2–3 eggs. The incubation period is for 17–18 days, by both sexes; during hot hours of day, incoming parent often wets belly plumage before return to nest, to cool eggs. Chicks fed by regurgitation by both parents. When threatened, mock-incubation and broken-wing distraction displays frequently performed by adults.