Glareola pratincola (Linn.), Syst. Nat. i. p. 345 (1766) ; Gould, B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 46 ; Dresser, vii. p. 411, pl. 513, fig. 1 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiv. p. 53 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p, 216 ; Saunders, p. 531 ; Lilford, v. p. 15, pl. 5 ; Poynting, p. 7, pl. 2 ; G. torquata, Meyer, Taschenb. Deutsch. Vogelk, ii. p. 404 (1816) ; Naum. ix. p. 437, Taf. 234 ; Hewitson, ii. p. 290, pl. lxxv. ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 265.
Perdrix de mer, French : Perdiz do mar, Portug. ; Canastera, Span. ; Pernice di mare, Ital. ; Halsband-Giarol, German ; Tirkuschka-lugovaya, Russ.
Male ad. (Spain). Upper parts dull earth-brown ; nape, sides of head, and ear-coverts washed with rusty yellow ; primaries blackish with a faint greenish gloss ; secondaries broadly tipped with white ; outer tail-feathers white on the outer web and on the base of inner web, otherwise blackish, the rest white on the basal, blackish on the terminal half ; upper tail- coverts white ; lores and a streak passing under the eye, round the throat, forming a shield, black, the innermost part yellowish buff ; breast and Hanks pale greyish brown ; rest of under parts white ; under wing-coverts and axillaries rich fox-red ; bill black, the base of lower, and basal edge of upper mandible red ; legs brownish black : iris dark brown. Culmen 0.7, wing 7.5, tail, deeply forked, 4.8, the middle feathers 2.3 shorter than the outer ones, tarsus 1.25 inch. Sexes alike. The young bird has the feathers on the upper parts with paler and white margins, the throat dirty yellowish and the breast striped and marked with blackish.
Hab. Southern Europe, occasionally straying as far north as Shetland ; North Africa, moving in winter as far south as Natal ; Asia Minor and Central Asia as far east as North-west India.
Inhabits open flat ground and desert places in the vicinity of pools or swamps, and is very Plover-like in its general habits. It feeds on insects of various kinds, chiefly coleoptera, which it both picks up from the ground, and captures on the wing. Its note is a shrill whistle, kia, kia, usually uttered on the wing. It makes no nest, but deposits in May its 2 to 4 eggs in a slight depression on the ground. These are oval, varying from ochreous yellow to pale slate, richly spotted and blotched with greyish brown underlying, and blackish brown surface- markings, and measure about 1.22 by 0.96.
1016. Glareola pratincola