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Glareolidae – Coursers and Pratincoles

Rock Pratincole in Uganda: Photo by Christopher Sloan

Welcome to our guides on Glareolidae, a diverse family of birds found across various continents. These birds, known for their distinctive appearance and behavior, inhabit a range of habitats from open grasslands to desert environments. With their agile flight and ground-dwelling habits, Glareolidae species offer a unique opportunity for birdwatchers to observe diverse avian adaptations in action.

Overview of Glareolidae

Coursers resemble miniature bustards among shorebirds, characterized by their upright stance, slender legs, and short toes, ideal for navigating their preferred open habitats. In contrast, pratincoles exhibit shorter legs, partially webbed toes, and elongated wings, akin to a blend of swallows and terns in flight. These birds adeptly capture flying insects and forage on the ground, akin to coursers, utilizing a stop-and-go pattern reminiscent of plovers. Their plumage typically features earthy tones with dark accents around the facial and neck regions.