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Pteroclidae – Sandgrouse

Black-bellied Sandgrouse in Spain: Photo by Marco Valentini

Welcome to our Pteroclidae guide! Explore the captivating world of sandgrouse, a family of birds known for their unique adaptations to arid environments. Pteroclidae, commonly referred to as sandgrouse, inhabit deserts and dry regions across Africa, Asia, and parts of Europe. With their striking plumage and fascinating behaviors, sandgrouse captivate birdwatchers and enthusiasts alike. Join us as we delve into the rich diversity within the Pteroclidae family, uncovering their habitats, behaviors, and conservation status. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or simply intrigued by these charismatic birds, our guides offer valuable insights into the captivating world of Pteroclidae.

Overview of Sandgrouse

In the vast, arid landscapes of the Old World, the elusive sandgrouse make their home. Resembling doves in silhouette, these birds thrive in some of the driest habitats, sustaining themselves primarily on a diet of seeds. Often seen foraging in flocks, their numbers swell significantly as they gather at water sources during twilight hours. Contrary to common belief, sandgrouse do not suck water like pigeons; instead, they use a unique method of lifting their heads with beakfuls of water to convey it into their esophagus. These birds maintain monogamous partnerships and nest far from water sources, yet males possess belly feathers specially adapted to carry water back to their thirsty chicks near the nest.