The oriental pratincole (Glareola maldivarum), also known as the grasshopper-bird or swallow-plover is a wader in the pratincole family, Glareolidae. The genus name is a diminutive of Latin glarea, "gravel", referring to a typical nesting habitat for pratincoles. The species name maldivarum refers to the type locality, the ocean near the Maldive Islands; the type specimen, caught alive at sea, survived for a month on flies.

An 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.

These are birds of open country, and are often seen near water in the evening, hawking for insects. These pratincoles are found in warmer parts of south and east Asia, breeding from North Pakistan and the Kashmir region across into China and south west. Their 2–3 eggs are laid on the ground. 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. The first record for the Western Palearctic was in Suffolk, England in June 1981.

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.

Very good views are needed to distinguish this species from other pratincoles, such as the very similar collared pratincole, which also has a chestnut underwing, and black-winged pratincole which shares the black upperwing flight feathers and lack of a white trailing edge to the wing. These features are not always readily seen in the field, especially as the chestnut underwing appears black unless excellent views are obtained.



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.
Oriental Pratincole
Date Location Count
2021-06-09 20:28Orrevatnet--Orreosen1
2021-05-22 15:40Sonvad Reservoir, Dhule2
2021-06-06 06:45Mundakhera Flat -- Jhajjar20
2021-06-12 18:52Sultanpur Flats1
2021-06-08 16:31Budhera WTP, Gurgaon2
2021-05-15 08:00Junona lake, Chandrapur6
2021-06-08 06:00Purvankara Swanlake, Padur, Chennai2
2021-05-15 08:05Baruipur Marshes4
2021-06-03 13:39Doi Lo paddies (general area)2
2021-06-13 15:40Mae Faek paddies70
2021-05-21 08:49Ra Kon paddies7
2021-06-13 09:18Huai Mai Teng Reservoir1
2021-05-23 06:51Khlong Tamo – Wang Dan paddies and sand quarry1
2021-05-30 07:48Khlong Nong Luang2
2021-05-16 16:30Bo Kradan paddies1
2021-05-26 13:19Kook Cafe and Restaurant vicinity1
2021-06-08 08:00Bueng Boraphet Non-hunting Area--Ban Thung Waen fish ponds ("Pramong Panit")25
2021-06-06 14:26Bang Khaem aquaculture ponds40
2021-05-15 16:03Nin Phet--paddies east of Yipun Canal1
2021-05-29 14:12Lat Lum Kaeo paddies10
2021-06-05 17:28Premium Outlet Ayutthaya vicinity2
2021-05-23 07:19Rangsit – Nakhon Nayok Khlong 5 paddies and scrublands4
2021-05-20 09:08The Forestias Project ("Green City in Bangkok")3
2021-06-13 15:58Pathum Thani Rice Research Center1
2021-06-13 08:09Lat Krabang--Thap Yao paddies & aquaculture ponds4
2021-06-06 06:18Khlong Tamru salt pans1
2021-05-15 06:33Lam Takhong Dam--Ta Ngoi farmlands5
2021-05-29 16:06Hat Yai WTP1
2021-05-29 17:00Huai Yang Reservoir (Khok Kruat)1
2021-05-22 05:50Ban Hat Kanxa (lake & fields)2
2021-05-26 06:45Vientiane--That Luang Lake & fields3
2021-05-28 06:10Vientiane--Nong Kham Sen wetland6
2021-06-05 05:50Vientiane--Ban Na Khouay-canal2
2021-06-06 09:44Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-hunting Area (general area)10
2021-05-28 11:59Narathiwat Airport1
2021-06-05 06:07Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-hunting Area (general area)
2021-06-06 12:01Khlong Pla Khun2
2021-06-06 14:30Phnom Krom--rice fields20
2021-05-30 07:38Angkor Wat3
2021-06-01 07:23Prolay grasslands100
2021-06-06 06:57黄玉村 (Huangyu Village)10
2021-06-13 09:45Mai Po Nature Reserve1
2021-05-21 16:15马场 (Ma Chang)3
2021-05-22 08:10野鸭湖 (Wild Duck Lake)3
2021-06-01 07:18北堡滩涂 (Beipu Mudflat)3
2021-05-28 09:00南堡盐池 (Nanpu Salt Ponds)10
2021-06-07 05:58金門--慈湖魚塭賞鳥區(Kinmen--Lake Ci Fishponds Birding Area)1
2021-05-31 07:05金門--沙崗農場(Kinmen--Shagang Ranch)1
2021-05-27 09:43金門--西園鹽場(Kinmen--Xiyuan Saltern)2
2021-06-13 06:48金門--金沙后水頭農地(Kinmen--Jinsha Houshuitou Farmland)4
2021-06-13 07:16金門--金沙官嶼農地重劃區(Kinmen--Jinsha Guanyu Farmland Consolidation Area)50
2021-06-10 17:47金門--農業試驗所(Kinmen--Agricultural Research Institute)8
2021-05-28 18:19台南七股IBA--七股海堤(Qigu IBA--Qigu Seawall)3
2021-05-20 18:30台南七股IBA--全區(Qigu IBA)4
2021-06-12 15:25台南北門IBA--三寮灣(Beimen IBA--Shanliaowan)1
2021-06-10 06:32台南--北門二重港(Tainan-Beimen Erzhonggang )1
2021-06-13 07:19雲林--濁水溪口南岸(Yunlin--Zhuoshui River Estuary South Bank)1
2021-06-04 13:23彰化大城濕地IBA--濁水溪口北岸(Dacheng Wetland IBA--Zhuoshui River Estuary North Bank)5
2021-05-15 07:10彰化大城濕地IBA--調查樣點#2(Dacheng Wetland IBA--Sampling Point #2)2
2021-05-19 17:40台南--高鐵台南站(Tainan--High Speed Rail Tainan Station)16
2021-06-09 16:15台南--官田水雉生態教育園區(Tainan--Guantian Pheasant-tailed Jacana Ecological Education Park)3
2021-05-29 09:43彰化--濱海工業區線西區(Changhua--Coastal Industrial Park Xianxi District)5
2021-05-28上虞滨海围垦区 (Shangyu Coast)3
2021-05-26 05:40嘉義--公館農場(Chiayi--Gongguan Farmland)5
2021-05-26 15:26台中--高美濕地IBA (Taichung--Gaomei Wetland IBA)1
2021-05-23 08:11雲林--他里霧埤公園(Yunlin--Taliwu Pond Park)1
2021-06-12 06:32台中--台中都會公園(Taichung--Taichung Metropolitan Park)1
2021-05-18 06:36南投--竹山小黃山風景區(Nantou--Zhushan Xiaohuangshan Sceneic Area)5
2021-06-09 05:17屏東--東港溪老埤段(Pingtung--Donggang River Laopi Section)5
2021-06-11 17:44屏東--屏東科技大學牧場(Pingtung--NPUST Ranch)6
2021-06-10 08:02屏東--屏東科技大學(Pingtung--Pingtung University of Science and Technology)1
2021-05-26 18:29南投--集集集鹿大橋(Nantou--Jiji Jilu Bridge)2
2021-05-17 18:34南投--集集 民生路-民生路九巷交叉口(Nantou--Jiji Mingshan Rd. & Mingshan Rd. 9th Alley Intersection)7
2021-05-22 05:48新竹濱海IBA--美山大庄(Hsinchu Coast IBA--Meishan Dazhuang)1
2021-06-11 09:55屏東--恆春機場週邊農地(Pingtung--Farmland around Hengchun Airport)30
2021-06-04 09:39墾丁NP--龍鑾潭全區(Kenting NP--Longluan Lake)27
2021-06-07 05:58Cabayaoasan Ponds, Bugallon1
2021-05-15 11:19#2大園重要濕地1
2021-05-16 14:25台東--知本溪口南岸(Taitung--Zhiben River Mouth South Bank)4
2021-05-22 07:50台東知本濕地IBA--知本溪口北岸海灘(Zhiben Wetland IBA--Beach area of Zhiben River N. coast)1
2021-05-16 14:48#1蘆竹重要濕地2
2021-05-29 07:49台東--利嘉溪口(Taitung--Lijia River Mouth)8
2021-05-29 15:03台東--台糖池上牧野渡假村(Taitung--Chishang Pastoral Farm Resort)4
2021-06-04 10:04崇明东滩鸟类国家级自然保护区 (Chongming Dongtan NNR)2
2021-06-02 16:00南汇东滩 (Nanhui Dongtan)10
2021-06-13 07:00花蓮花蓮溪口IBA(Hualien River Estuary IBA)7
2021-05-23 06:00San Rafael IV fish pond, brgy. Noveleta90
2021-05-26 05:50San Isidro River, Brgy. San Roque, San Pedro5
2021-05-23 05:30Baekryeong Island4