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Black-winged Pratincole - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by lior kislev
Eylat, Israel, May 2007
Glareola nordmanni


23–26 cm (9-10¼ in)

  • Brown head and back
  • Black flight feathers and under wing
  • Buff chin and throat (bordered in summer by a thin black line)
  • White belly and rump
  • Short black bill with red base (reduced in winter)
  • Black legs
  • Long forked tail
First Winter
Photo © by Redbishop
Bet Shean Valley, Israel, October 2006

Younger birds: the juvenile plumage is checkered in black and brownish, the throat is not distinct, and the bill is all black. The first moult should take place in early fall and be a nearly complete moult leading to first winter plumage, still with indistinct throat, black bill, but now with almost adult colors except for pale fringes on the feathers in fresh plumage.

The change to first summer plumage involves a partial moult that however can start as early as September in the same year that the bird is born, leading to an extreme variation of plumages that can be seen in say October: varying from almost identical with an adult to birds not having moulted more than half of their checkered juvenile plumage.

Similar Species

Darker than Collared Pratincole and lacks the light trailing edge to the inner wings.


First Winter
Photo © by lior kislev
Beyt Shean Valley, Israel, October 2007

Breeds from Romania to southwestern Russia and northern Kazakhstan; winters to South Africa.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Open country near water. Breeds on marshes and wet meadows.



The clutch consists of 2-4 eggs which are laid on the ground.


The diet includes insects, either caught aerially or found on the ground.

Photo © by lior kislev
Eylat.k20. Israel, May 2007


Call: similar to, but lower-pitched than Collared Pratincole; kettek, pwik-kik-kik


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728 6
  3. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
  4. Birdforum thread discussing age of a first winter bird

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