Proposal (920) to South American Classification Committee


Add Glareola pratincola (Collared Pratincole) to main list


Effect on South American CL: This transfers a species from the Hypothetical List to the Main List.


Background: The Hypothetical List currently summarizes the situation as follows: "One photographed at Atol das Rocas, Brazil, 9 March 1990 (Antas 1990, as cited by Sick 1993); photograph now published (Soto & Filippini 2003), but photograph does not rule out G. maldivarum (Des Allen, Krys Kazmierczak, pers. comms.).”


New record: Roger Barros and Carlos Eduardo Moura discovered a single Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola) in a soybean field in Caucaia, Ceará, on 21 April 2015. The bird was ‘twitched’ the same day by various other state birders and was present until the 26 April. The bird was observed and photographed by many, with 35 images and 2 sound recordings of the individual deposited on WikiAves and three on eBird: In addition an image of the Ceará pratincole will be published in Lees & Gilroy (2021),obsession%20for%20countless%20birders%20worldwide. The species has been added to the Brazilian list in the last addition of the national checklist (Pacheco et al. 2021).


Identification: There are seven species of pratincole in the genus Glareola, plus the monotypic Australian Pratincole (Stiltia isabella). This latter species and four species in the genus Glareola  can be instantly ruled out by their either very dark (ocularis and nuchalis) or very pale (cinerea and lactea) plumage tones and absence of a pale cream throat patch demarcated by a black border. This leaves three species Collared Pratincole (G. pratincola), Oriental Pratincole (G. maldivarum) and Black-winged Pratincole (G. nordmanni), which are both all phenotypically similar and all highly migratory and prone to long-range vagrancy (Maclean & Kirwan 2013). Identification of birds on the ground is complicated; hence, the doubts over the identification of the previous Brazilian record. This latest record, however, is accompanied by high quality digital images of the pratincole in flight. These images e.g., and can be used to rule out the other two confusion species - for example, the bird’s rich chestnut underwings rule out nordmanni, which has black underwings and the contrast on the upperwings (darker outer and paler inner wing - absent in maldivarum), and prominent pale trailing edge to the secondaries (absent in maldivarum) rule out maldivarum. The latter species can also be excluded by the long tail, which is similar in length to the primary projection – see e.g. – the tail is much shorter in maldivarum. (See also Figures 1 and 2, below.)


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Figure 1 – Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola). Caucaia, Ceará, Brazil, 21 May 2015 © Ciro Albano



A picture containing bird, grass, outdoor, ground

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Figure 2 – Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola). Caucaia, Ceará, Brazil, 21 May 2015 © Ciro Albano



Literature cited

Antas, P. T. Z., A. Filippini, and S.M. Azevedo Júnior. 1992. Novos registros de aves para o Brasil. Anais VI Encontro Nacional de Anilhadores de Aves. pp. 79-80.

Lees, A. and Gilroy, J., 2021. Vagrancy in Birds. Princeton University Press/Bloomsbury.

Maclean, G.L. & G. M. Kirwan. 2013. Collared Pratincole (Glareola pratincola). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, J.  Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. (retrieved from on 10 May 2015).

Pacheco, J.F.; Silveira, L.F.; Aleixo, A.; Agne, C.E.; Bencke, G.A.; Bravo, G.A; Brito, G.R.R.; Cohn-Haft, M.; Maurício, G.N.; Naka, L.N.; Olmos, F.; Posso, S.; Lees, A.C.; Figueiredo, L.F.A.; Carrano, E.; Guedes, R.C.; Cesari, E.; Franz, I.; Schunck, F. & Piacentini, V.Q. 2021. Annotated checklist of the birds of Brazil by the Brazilian Ornithological Records Committee—second edition. Ornithology Research, 29: 94-105.

Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil, a natural history. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Soto, J. M. R., and A. Filippini.  2003.  Documentação da ocorrência da perdiz-do-mar, Glareola pratincola (Linnaeus, 1766) (Charadriiformes: Glareolidae), no Brasil.  Ararajuba 11: 136.



Alexander Lees, Ciro Albano and José Fernando Pacheco, September 2021





Comments from Lane: “YES. The flight photos rule out Oriental and Black-winged pratincoles. Great record!”


Comments from Pearman: “YES, The in-flight photographs clinch the identification with the combination of chestnut underwing-coverts and white trailing edge to the inner remiges being diagnostic features of Collared Pratincole (G. pratincola) and exclude congeners as explained in the proposal. As an extra, the pure white outermost primary shaft is another feature of pratincola that excludes Oriental Pratincole G. maldivarum, the most likely confusion species.”


Comments from Robbins: “YES. Photos appear to eliminate other species, as Lees et al. point out in their proposal.”


Comments from Areta: “YES. Confidently diagnosable from other Glareola as explained in the proposal and further elaborated by Mark. Great pictures and great record!”


Comments from Bonaccorso: “YES, the photographic evidence supports its inclusion in the list.”


Comments from Claramunt: “YES.”


Comments from Jaramillo: “YES – The underwing photos are the key to confirming the identification of this Collared Pratincole.”