Sexes alike. Bright rufous crown; white and black stripes above and through eyes to nape; sandybrown above; chestnut throat and breast and black belly; long, whitish legs; in flight, dark underwings. Small parties in open country; strictly a ground bird, runs in short spurts and feeds on ground, like plovers, suddenly dipping body when disturbed, flies strongly for a short distance and lands; can fly very high.
Sexes alike. Brown forehead; sandy-grey above; during breeding has black stripe from eye to beak; white, squarish tail, tipped black; smoky-brown underbody has a rufous wash; whiter on lower breast and abdomen; long, narrow wings and short legs. The Collared Pratincole G. pratincola is larger, with a forked tail and black loop on the throat. Gregarious; large flocks over an open expanse, close to water; very swallow-like in demeanour; strong and graceful flight over water surface, catching insects on wing; flies high in late evening.