Small Pratincole
106921192.5qLnfB7m.Pernicedimareminore 18
Common Name Little Pratincole andSmall Indian Pratincole
Range India, western Pakistan and Southeast Asia.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Glareolidae
Genus Glareola
Species Glareola lactea
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Small pratincole (Glareola lactea), also known as the little pratincole, or small Indian pratincole, is a species of small wader in the Glareolidae family.

The small pratincole is a resident breeder in India, western Pakistan and Southeast Asia. It breeds from December to March on gravel or sand banks in rivers, laying 2-4 eggs in a ground scrape. Breeding areas include small areas in northern Karnataka (along the Hemavathi river) and northern Kerala near Kannur.

This species is only 16.5-18.5 cm in length, with a 15–16 cm wingspan. Because of its small size, the small pratincole can be briefly confused in flight with swifts or swallows.

This bird has short legs, long pointed wings and a short tail. Its short bill is an adaptation to aerial feeding. On the ground, it looks mainly pale grey (hence lactea, milky). The crown of the head is brown.

The wings are grey above with black primaries and black and white bars at the rear edge of the inner flight feathers. The underwings are mainly black. The tail is white with a black terminal triangle. The belly is white.

The most unusual feature of the pratincoles is that although classed as waders they typically hunt their insect prey on the wing like swallows, although they can also feed on the ground.

The small pratincole is a species of open country, and is often seen near water in the evening, hawking for insects.

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