Pallas's Sandgrouse (syrrhaptes Paradoxus): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: Pallas's sandgrouse are medium-sized sandgrouse that range from 15 to 16 inches (38 to 40.6 centimeters) in length and from 7.1 to 10.6 ounces (200 to 300 grams) in weight. Males are slightly larger than females. Males have orange backs barred with black, tawny necks, gray breasts, and black bellies. Females have barred backs and black bellies. The legs and the feet are feathered.
Geographic range: Pallas's sandgrouse are found in southern Russia, Tibet, Mongolia, and China. Some populations occasionally appear in Europe.
Habitat: Pallas's sandgrouse occupy steppe, a semiarid grass-covered plain, and sandy desert habitats, often with a scrub covering. They are generally found between 4,300 and 10,500 feet (1,300 to 3,200 meters) during the summer, but may occupy lower elevations during the winter.
Diet: Pallas's sandgrouse eat primarily legume seeds. Sometimes individuals also eat the green shoots of plants.
Behavior and reproduction: Pallas's sandgrouse are found in large flocks during the nonbreeding season. Most populations stay in the same place throughout the year, or move short distances, but some populations migrate large distances from breeding to wintering grounds. The wings of Pallas's sandgrouse whistle during flight. Individuals generally fly to water sometime during the morning hours. The breeding season is usually between April and June. Nests are scraped in the ground either near vegetation or out in the open. Eggs hatch after twenty-two to twenty-six days. The reproductive behavior of this species has not been studied in the wild. In captivity, only the female incubates while the male remains close by.
Pallas's sandgrouse and people: This species may occasionally be hunted for food.
Conservation status: Pallas's sandgrouse are not considered threatened at this time. ∎
FOR MORE INFORMATION
del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and J. Sargatal, eds. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 4, Sandgrouse to Cuckoos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, 1997.
Johnsgard, P. A. Bustards, Hemipodes and Sandgrouse: Birds of Dry Places. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Perrins, Christopher, ed. Firefly Encyclopedia of Birds. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2003.
"Pteroclidae (Sandgrouse)." The Internet Bird Collection. http://www.hbw.com/ibc/phtml/familia.phtml?idFamilia=70 (accessed on June 11, 2004).
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Animal Life ResourceBirdsSandgrouse: Pterocliformes - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Sandgrouse And People, Namaqua Sandgrouse (pterocles Namaqua): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS