Spotted Sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus)

Spotted Sandgrouse

[order] PTEROCLIDIFORMES | [family] Pteroclididae | [latin] Pterocles senegallus | [UK] Spotted Sandgrouse | [FR] Ganga tachete | [DE] Tropfen-Flughuhn | [ES] Ganga Moteada | [NL] Sahelzandhoen


Monotypic species

Physical charateristics

Diagnostic longitudinal black stripe on belly, more conspicuous during flight, dark trailing edge of wing. Throat and sides of head ochre or orange-yellow, paler in female, orbital ring yellow, bill bluish.
Dark spots on breast and upperparts of female, but difficult to appreciate from a distance. Birds from Pakistan and India usually slightly paler, more greyish.

Listen to the sound of Spotted Sandgrouse

[audio: Sandgrouse.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 30 cm size max.: 35 cm
incubation min.: 28 days incubation max.: 31 days
fledging min.: 28 days fledging max.: 31 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 4  


Africa, Eurasia : Northwest Africa to Northwest India


Semi-desert and desert, with patches of vegetation. Usually avoids thick scrub, trees and arable land, occupying both stony and asndy areas. Drinking water is required nearby.


Mar-Jul. Nest is scrape or natural depression on ground. Typically near a stone or hoof-marks.
3 eggs, incubation 30 days,with male sitting by night. Downy chick pale greyish brown, only faintly marked.

Feeding habits

Consumes primarily small, hard seeds. Apparently shows distinct preference for certain plants such as Asphodelus tenuifolius, Euphorbia guyoniana and Hordeum. Feeds mostly during morning or late afternoon, drinks during morning.


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Distribution: S Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania through Sahara Desert to Ethiopia and N Somalia, and on through Arabian Peninsula and Iraq to Pakistan and NW India, where occurs in Indian and Thar Deserts.
Spotted Sandgrouse status Least Concern


Perhaps mostly sedentary and nomadic; wintering reported for areas of Morocco and Algeria ( Oct – Mar) and also Pakistan and NW India.

Distribution map

Spotted Sandgrouse distribution range map

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