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pratincole

pratincole (prăt´ənkōl´), common name for a large-winged shore bird including seven species in the subfamily Glareolinae of the family Glareolidae. Swift and graceful flyers, their sharply pointed, decurved bills are broad-based and open wide as adaptations for feeding on the wing. They have long wings and long, forked tails. Their diet consists primarily of grasshoppers and dragonflies. With their small, partially webbed feet, pratincoles wade rather than swim. Both sexes are similar in appearance, being 7 to 9 in. (18–23 cm) in length and generally dull brown with a white rump and tail. They are active chiefly at dusk. Three species in the genus Glareola and three in the genus Galachrysia are found from S Europe through Africa and S Asia. Stiltia isabella is the sole Australian species. Most pratincoles nest on the ground in shallow depressions or unlined scrapes. They lay from two to four smooth, oval-shaped eggs per clutch; these are dullish and colored, blending with varying soil backgrounds. Pratincoles are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Glareolidae.

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Glareolidae

Glareolidae (pratincoles, coursers; class Aves, order Charadriiformes) A family of mainly brown and grey birds that have white under-parts and distinctive facial and wing markings. Pratincoles have four toes, short bills and legs, long, pointed wings, and forked tails. Coursers have three toes, longer bills, short, broad wings and tails, and long legs. Most have their middle toe pectinate. They inhabit bare, stony areas, coursers being terrestrial and pratincoles more aerial, feed on insects, and nest on the ground. There are five genera, with 16 species, found in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

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pratincole

pratincole bird of the genus Glareola, allied to the plover. XVIII. — modL. pratincola, f. L. prātum meadow + incola inhabitant.

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"pratincole." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 29 May. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"pratincole." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 29, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pratincole

"pratincole." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved May 29, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/pratincole