Atlas of nesting birds in Bulgaria

Collared Pratincole

(Glareola pratincola)

Category of conservation concern (IUCN, 2020) – Least Concern

Population size: 2020: 133 – 428 pairs (2007: 140 – 180 pairs)

Distribution pattern

With grouped breeding sites in three differentiated regions – the Thracian Plain (between the towns of Pazardzhik and Chirpan), the Burgas Wetlands, and the Northern Black Sea coast (Shabla and Durankulak Lakes). Single localities are also found in other parts of the country (Sofia Field, Varna–Beloslav Lake Complex, etc.).

Population estimation for the period 2013 – 2020:  During the period 2013-2020, the species was not found in 16 squares, where it was found before the year 2013. In some of these squares, the observations are probably with a low degree of reliability for the breeding sites for the previous period as well. New locations have been established in 12 squares, most of them in the western parts of the Upper Thracian Plain. Most colonies change their breeding grounds from year to year depending on the available crops, food sources and water levels. Large colonies outside the Protected Areas have been established in the areas of Chirpan, Rakovski, Shishmantsi, and elsewhere.

Population size in Special Protection Areas of Natura 2000: 28-141 pairs (29% of the population). A large part of the population in the Upper Thracian Plain is outside Natura 2000 areas, close to small dams or rice fields. The highest numbers have been registered in the Special Protection Areas “Atanasovsko Lake” (15-90 pairs), “Tsalapitsa Rice Field” (6-13 pairs), “Mandra-Poda Complex” (0-35 pairs) and “Pomorie Lake” (5- 10 pairs).

Big size map

Breeding distribution 2013 – 2020 – The distribution and the estimation of the population size of the species for the period 2013 – 2020 is presented –

Comparative distribution of the species compared to the first breeding birds atlas (Iankov, 2007): Breeding locality until 2007 | Breeding locality until 2007, confirmed after 2015 – | New breeding locality after 2015. – The breeding localities after 2015 are identified on a base of raw data from


Breeds in crops and other (annual) grass crops (especially in corn and cotton fields in the early stages of plant development), in steppe and dry calcareous grasslands, usually used as pastures, also in saline areas with halophytic vegetation, as well as around bogs and marshes, and water bodies with grassy water–fringe vegetation. The colonies are located close to water bodies with standing fresh waters, less often near standing brackish waters and lagoons.

Trends in population changes for the period 2013-2020

Short-term trend of population size:


Long-term trend of population size:


Short-term trend of distribution:


Long-term trend of distribution:



Drainage of wet lands. Neglect of some rice fields in the Upper Thracian Plain. Agricultural activities leading to disturbance or direct destruction of colonies. Predation (from stray dogs, jackals, crows) threatening eggs and chicks in breeding colonies. Extreme climate events because of global climate change.

Petar Shurulinkov, Girgina Daskalova, Vladimir Mladenov, Ralitsa Georgieva, Mihail Iliev