Oriental Pratincole (species: Glareola (Glareola) maldivarum) in Australian Birds (Gaia Guide)
Glareola (Glareola) maldivarum
Oriental Pratincole

©Charles Lam: Oriental Pratincole (Glareola (Glareola) maldivarum)

©Charles Lam: Oriental Pratincole (Glareola (Glareola) maldivarum)

©Kevin Lin: Juvenile Oriental Pratincole (Glareola (Glareola) maldivarum)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Glareolidae
Genus Glareola
Species Glareola (Glareola) maldivarum
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

These birds have short legs, long pointed wings and long forked tails. They have short bills, which is an adaptation to aerial feeding. The back and head are brown, and the wings are brown with black flight feathers. The belly is white. The underwings are chestnut. (Wikipedia)


  • Up to 24 cm (Length of specimen)


  • From 58 cm to 64 cm


Interesting facts

  • On the 7th of February 2004, 2.5 million Oriental Pratincoles were recorded on Eighty Mile Beach in Australia's north-west by the Australasian Wader Studies Group. There had previously been no record of this magnitude and it is supposed that weather conditions caused much of the world's population of this species to congregate in one area. (Wikipedia)


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

These are birds of open country, and are often seen near water in the evening, hawking for insects. They are found in warmer parts of south and east Asia, breeding from Northern Pakistan and the Kashmir region across into China and south west.

They are migratory, wintering in both India and Pakistan, Indonesia and Australasia. They are rare north or west of the breeding range, but, amazingly, this species has occurred as far away as Great Britain more than once. (Wikipedia)


They typically hawk for insects on the wing although they can also feed on the ground. (Wikipedia)

Web resources


  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (2004). Field Guide to Birds of Australia: 7th Edition Penguin Group (Australia), Camberwell, Victoria.