Pratincole (glareola, Briss.), a genus of wading birds of the plover family, inhabiting the temperate and warmer regions of the old world. About half a dozen species are described in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, frequenting the borders of rivers, lakes, and marshes, in low and in high regions; the food consists of worms and insects, which they pick from the ground or aquatic plants, or take on the wing like swallows; they fly and run very swiftly; the nest is a slight structure on the ground, among the thick herbage of the marshes, and the eggs three or four in number. The collared pratincole (G. pratincola, Pall.) is about the size of a blackbird, 9 in. long; it is brown above, white on the rump and below; the throat surrounded by a black circle; the base of the bill and the feet reddish. It is plentiful in Austria, and has received one of its specific names (Austriaca) from that country; it is occasionally found in England, and is extensively distributed over the old world; it is usually seen in flocks which are very noisy; the food consists chiefly of beetles and grasshoppers.

It so resembles the swallows in its forked tail and flight, that it was at first placed among them by Linnaeus; from its appearance and habits on the ground it is called sea partridge by the French.

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola).

Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola).