Small bird that resembles a combination of a dove, a swallow, and a plover. Soft gray-brown with a tan wash on the throat and black lores. Black-and-white wing pattern prominent in flight. Flight agile and erratic, resembling a bat or swallow; frequently flies in flocks at dusk. Favors rocky or sandy islands in rivers, but can also be found in marshes, estuaries, and lakesides. Distinguished from other pratincoles in range by smaller size and gray plumage. Calls are a high rolling “chirrit!”, reminiscent of terns.