The small pratincole, little pratincole, or small Indian pratincole (Glareola lactea), is a small wader in the pratincole family, Glareolidae.



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.



Small Pratincole
Date Location Count
2020-11-07 18:28Garida Dam1
2020-11-29 08:36Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary1
2020-11-29 15:50Pariej Lake100
2020-11-14 08:50Virar--Tuss Khadi Beach, Arnala1
2020-11-11 15:30Morjim Beach2
2020-11-07 10:12Yeralwadi Dam100
2020-11-21 07:25Pong Dam--Nagrota Surian15
2020-11-15 17:00Pavinkurva South (Hanging Bridge), Karki20
2020-11-06 21:35Alania Dam12
2020-11-14 07:42Barkur Wetlands -- Saasthana15
2020-11-01 07:55Barkur Wetlands20
2020-11-22 06:59Yakkundi Kere10
2020-11-19 08:12Kumbla-Shiriya Estuary1
2020-11-29 07:30Bommanalli Kere10
2020-11-30 16:28Peralathvayal80
2020-11-07 15:30Bharatpur--Keoladeo Ghana NP1
2020-11-29 16:00Kapsi Talao (lake), Akola150
2020-11-01 07:30Pattikkayal , Thrithala150
2020-11-05 11:58Kole Wetlands--Ayanikkad1
2020-11-08 17:30Kole Wetlands--Manakodi6
2020-11-01 09:38Chambal Safari Lodge3
2020-11-18 15:53Paniyeli Poru--Whispering Waters60
2020-11-22 09:13Kannampalayam Lake, Coimbatore4
2020-11-21 07:13Cauvery WLS--Galibore2
2020-11-13 13:00Osman Sagar Lake50
2020-11-08 07:00Ameenpur Lake, Hyderabad30
2020-11-05 10:14Sonnapura6
2020-11-05 06:59Chinna Veerampattinam Beach2
2020-11-17 08:00Chitwan National Park - General15
2020-11-10 15:15Kankabati PM55
2020-11-29 09:00Barshul--Bajeshalepur PUB3
2020-11-18 10:30Purbasthali Bird Sanctuary PUB7
2020-11-25 23:23Rajshahi University Campus (Rajshahi)6
2020-11-30 23:30Padma River & Chars (Rajshahi)100
2020-11-26 17:10Mae Taeng Irrigation Project1
2020-11-28 15:38Mekong Rapids at Ban Ta Mui18