Mid-sized wader bird (approx 28 cm or 11 in). Ocher upperparts and white underparts. Throat with cream tones with a narrow black edge line that extends up the face of the bird to the eyes. In flight an atypical silhouette for a wader is observed: long with a forked tail, like that of a swallow, and with a white rump. Long and pointed wings, dark on their underside.
Cultivated areas and Wetlands
Species linked to marshes and lagoons, both salty and freshwater, open areas and plains with scarce vegetation near wetlands. Also present in farmlands and wet meadows. The Collared Pratincole prefers warm climates and low altitude areas.
Summer species in the province, although it reproduces sparingly. Also present during its migratory passages. It starts the breeding season in April. Nest on the ground, in colonies and in open areas not too far from the water. One laying of 3 eggs. It feeds on flying insects (moths, grasshoppers, flies, mosquitoes) that it catches flying in a group and with the bill open, just as swallows and swifts do. Twilight habits: it hunts and is more active at dusk and at dawn.
Frequent species in Malaga especially during the migratory passage, at which time it can be watched almost in any wetland in the province. It breeds in small numbers in the lagoons of the plain of Antequera, mainly in Fuente de Piedra (stage 18 of the Great Path).
The scientific name of the Collared Pratincole refers to its sandy colouring (glarea) and to its habit of perching and feeding on meadows and plains with little vegetation (pratum). It is a very unique bird, especially because it is adapted to a very different type of life to that of waders, although this bird is one of them. Instead of exploring the silt with its bill, it has developed a technique of acrobatic and group aerial hunting, more similar to that used by birds such as terns or swallows.