sandgrouse


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sandgrouse,

common name for pigeon-sized, seed-eating, terrestrial birds of the genera Pteroclida (approximately 14 species) and Syrrhaptes (2 species). They are birds of the Old World deserts and steppes, and are protectively colored and mottled to blend in with their backgrounds. Colors are typically fawn and gray in the desert-dwelling species and striped or mottled orange and brown in those of the steppe. Sandgrouse are structurally similar to pigeons, but have thicker skin. They have long, pointed wings and tails, and feathers all the way down their short legs. They range in length from 9 to 16 in. (22.5–40 cm). Sandgrouse are especially remarkable for their drinking habits, descending upon water in flocks of as many as 80,000 birds. With their beaks continuously in the water, they can swallow until full without pausing. They must have water daily, and desert species may make a round trip journey as great as 75 mi (121 km) a day just to reach water. They are strong flyers and can reach speeds up to 40 mi (64 km) per hr. Aground, sandgrouse are not very graceful, progressing with a rapid waddle on their short, feathered legs. Lacking a first toe, they do not perch. They forage on berries and seeds and sometimes on insects. They lay their round, spotted eggs, usually three, in ground nests or shallow depressions. The precocious young leave the nest soon after hatching, incubation taking 23 to 28 days, and being shared by the male and female. The newly hatched young are fed by regurgitation of the parents. Several species of sandgrouse are known to be migratory. Sandgrouse are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Columbiformes, family Pteroclidae.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Crowned, spotted, pintailed and black-bellied sandgrouse made my heart race as they swept in for their morning drink before disappearing out into the desert wastes again.
Grasslands, which once covered large areas of all continents except Antarctica, have largely disappeared--and with them many birds, including once-abundant prairie-chickens, bustards, and sandgrouse. In North America, the great grasslands that covered 40 percent of what is now the United States when the Europeans first arrived have declined to 1 percent of the country today.
After his soak, the sandgrouse returns home, with feathers still dripping with fresh water.
Muscat: Wildlife rangers arrested two Omani nationals for hunting wild crowned sandgrouse in Hima area of the wilayat of Al Mudhaibi.
The Red Fox and Arabian Lynx live in the sanctuary, which is a safe haven for many migratory and endemic birds, like Hoopoe, Indian Roller, Pipit, Merops, Egyptian Eagle, and See-see Partridge, owls, Crowned Sandgrouse, Wild Pigeons, Falcon, Curlew, and Seagull.
(1988), according to Richardson (1990), are believed to have been based on Mengel's original paper, Richardson also noting that "These records are under review to rule out Bar-tailed Godwit..." Richardson (in litt., 4 June 2012), also noted that the record had not been accepted for inclusion in the checklist of the Arabian Gulf states published in Sandgrouse volume 1 (Bundy & Warr 1980).
And for nature lovers the dunes are teeming with bird life, including the Namaqua sandgrouse, sociable weaver and Africa's smallest raptor - the pygmy falcon.
These birds are represented in South America by seed-snipes (family Thinochoridae) and in Asia by the sandgrouse and pin-tailed sandgrouse (family Pteroclidae).
Oystercatchers; Ibisbill; Avocets and Stilts; Pratincoles; Plovers and Lapwings; Gulls and Turns; Skuas and Jaegers; Skimmers; Alcids; Loons; Sandgrouse; Olive Warbler and Solitaires; Pigeons and Doves; Parrots and Macaws; Cockatoos; Lories and Lorikeets.
Nonetheless, the success rate of the capturing technique described here (0.44 captures/attempt) is comparable to that reported for the selective capture of other open-habitat birds when using the night-lighting technique, such as sandgrouse (0.55 captures/attempt; Benitez-Lopez et al.