133 Collared Pratincole
(Glareola pratincola)


24-28cm. Collared Pratincole has long wings and forked tail giving tern-like shape but with longer legs and stubby bill. At distance, look for distinctive combination of agile feeding flight and square white rump and white belly contrasting with all-dark remainder. Collared difficult to tell from Black-winged: at close range, dull red underwing-coverts and white trailing edge of inner wing are diagnostic of Collared, but even then both may be surprisingly difficult to discern. Also, generally paler above than Black-winged, and adult has more red at base of bill. At very close range, adult summer male has black lores (brownish on female) and slightly sharper head pattern than female. Neat black throat-surround lost in winter.


In Hungary the Collared Pratincole in recent years has regularly bred in small numbers only near Apaj, Bugyi, Karcag, Kisújszállás and has occasionally found breeding in the Hortobágy and near Szarvas and Mezőtúr. It prefers primarily eroded and temporarily flooded areas in the vicinity of alkali lakes. However it started to colonise agricultural areas in the past decades and nowadays most of the Hungarian population has bred in such habitats. Breeding records have been very rare in alkali steppes recently. Migrant. In spring it arrives in late April, but more often in early May. From August they gather in flocks and leave the country in September, but rarely some individuals linger until October.

Can be found in the following IBAs

07 BA)

133 Collared Pratincole pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008