Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Oriental pratincole

Thai: นกแอ่นทุ่งใหญ่, nok aen thung yai

Binomial name: Glareola maldivarum, Johann Reinhold Forster, 1795

The oriental pratincole (Glareola maldivarum), also known as the grasshopper-bird or swallow-plover is a wader in the pratincole family, Glareolidae.

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.

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 Northern 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.

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Videos of Oriental pratincole

  • Oriental pratincole

    Oriental pratincole

  • Oriental pratincole

    Oriental pratincole

  • Oriental pratincole

    Oriental pratincole

  • Oriental pratincole

    Oriental pratincole

  • Oriental pratincole

    Oriental pratincole

  • Oriental pratincole

    Oriental pratincole

  • Oriental Pratincole - Mai Po, China

    Oriental Pratincole - Mai Po, China

  • Oriental pratincole - Malaysia

    Oriental pratincole - Malaysia

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Charadriiformes
Family
Glareolidae
Genus
Glareola
Species
Glareola maldivarum

Common names

  • English: Oriental pratincole
  • French: Glaréole orientale
  • Thai: นกแอ่นทุ่งใหญ่, nok aen thung yai

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Oriental pratincole, Glareola maldivarum in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen
  • Bang Len District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Bang Pa In District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pahan District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Phra Non-hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bangkok Province
  • Borabue District, Maha Sarakham
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Chaloem Phra Kiat District, Saraburi
  • Chatturat District, Chaiyaphum
  • Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Doi Inthanon National Park
  • Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Tao District, Chiang Mai
  • Hat Yai District, Songkhla
  • Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Huai Talat Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi
  • Kaeng Khro District, Chaiyaphum
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham
  • Khao Dinsor (Chumphon Raptor Center)
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani
  • Khuan Khanun District, Phatthalung
  • Kui Buri National Park
  • Kumphawapi District, Udon Thani
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mu Ko Chang National Park
  • Mu Ko Similan National Park
  • Mueang Buriram District, Buriram
  • Mueang Chachoengsao District, Chachoengsao
  • Mueang Chaiyaphum District, Chaiyaphum
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Lamphun District, Lamphun
  • Mueang Maha Sarakham District, Maha Sarakham
  • Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Mueang Nakhon Si Thammarat District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Phuket District, Phuket
  • Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Songkhla District, Songkhla
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Surat Thani District, Surat Thani
  • Mueang Tak District, Tak
  • Mueang Uttaradit District, Uttaradit
  • Namtok Sam Lan National Park
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area
  • Nong Suea District, Pathum Thani
  • Nong Ya Plong District, Phetchaburi
  • Pa Sak Chonlasit Dam Non-hunting Area
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Pak Thale
  • Pak Tho District, Ratchaburi
  • Pak Thong Chai District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pathum Thani Province
  • Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Phra Phrom District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Phutthamonthon District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Pran Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Sai Yok District, Kanchanaburi
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-hunting Area
  • Sathing Phra District, Songkhla
  • Takua Pa District, Phang Nga
  • Tha Sala District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Tha Takiap District, Chachoengsao
  • Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi
  • Thalang District, Phuket
  • Thale Noi Non-hunting Area
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-hunting Area

Range map of Glareola maldivarum in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits and Parinya Pawangkhanant for their help with many range data.

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