Glareola nuchalis G. R. Gray, 1849, Fifth Cataract of the Nile, Sudan. Two distinctive subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Collared pratincole, white-collared pratincole, rufous- (or chestnut-) collared pratincole; French: Glarйole aurйolйe; German: Halsband-Brachschwalbe; Spanish: Canastera Sombrнa.
7.1–7.5 in (18–19 cm); 1.5–2.0 oz (43–58 g). Small, charcoal gray, paler below, with white collar (subspecies nuchalis) or rufous collar (subspecies liberiae) on hindneck; legs and base of bill bright red.
Larger rivers with exposed rocks and sand bars.
Usually in small flocks; perch on exposed rocks in midstream between bouts of aerial foraging. May also perch on riverside trees if rocks submerged. Migratory according to water levels, moving away from rivers that are flooded. Rather silent as a rule. May become tame around human habitations.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Forage both aerially and on rocks mostly at dawn and dusk, catching insects in flight or by running after them. May catch insects around street lights at night.
Nest singly or in small colonies on exposed rocks, laying two eggs in a hollow or crevice of bare rock. Both sexes incubate for about 20 days and feed the chicks for a further 20–30 days when they reach flying age.
Not threatened, but some stretches of river may be rendered unsuitable by damming and unseasonal release of water downstream. Rock pratincoles no longer occur in Sudan, where first collected, so numbers are probably declining.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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