Bird Families

Sandgrouse / Pterocles decoratus

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Pteroclididae - Birds common in arid steppes and semi-deserts of Eurasia and Africa.

Sandgrouse is a common name for Pteroclididae, a family of sixteen species birds, family members Pteroclidiformes... They are traditionally housed in two genera. The two Central Asian species are classified as Syrrhaptes and the other fourteen species, from Africa and Asia, are classified as Pterocles... They do not live in forests, their dwellings are in the ground, in the open locationssuch as plains, savannas and semi-deserts. They are distributed across northern, southern and eastern Africa, Madagascar, the Middle East and India to Central Asia. Range Black hazel grouse and GrouseSandgrouse extends to the Iberian Peninsula and France, and Sandgrouse Pallasa occasionally flares up in large numbers from its normal range in Asia.

Description

Sandgrouse have a compact body and a small pigeon head and neck. They range in size from 24 to 40 centimeters (9.4 to 16 inches) in length and from 150 to 500 grams (5.3 to 18 ounces). Sexually dimorphic, males are slightly larger and brighter than females. They have eleven strong flight feathers on long, sharp wings, giving them a fast, straight flight. Wings have powerful muscles for fast takeoff and steady flight. The plumage is mysterious, generally in shades of sandy brown and gray, variegated in different ways, which allows the birds to unite with the dusty landscape. There is a thick layer underneath that helps insulate the bird from extreme heat or cold. Feathers The belly is specially adapted to absorb and retain water, allowing adults, especially males, to carry water for chicks, which may be miles from watering holes. The amount of water that can be transferred in this way is 15 to 20 milliliters (0.5 to 0.7 fluid ounces).

Distribution

Representatives of the genus Syrrhaptes are found in the steppes of Central Asia. Their range extends from the Caspian Sea through the south of Siberia, Tibet and Mongolia to North and Central China. They are generally inhabited, but the Pallas Sandgrouse can be locally migratory and are very rarely eruptive, appearing in areas far beyond their normal range. This happened in 1863 and 1888, and there was also a major eruption in 1908 when many birds were sighted far away in Ireland and the United Kingdom where they were bred in Yorkshire and the Sea.

Pterocles are mostly found in drier parts of northern, eastern and southern Africa, although the range of some species extends to the Middle East and West Asia. Madagascar Sandgrouse is bounded by Madagascar. Black hazel grouse and White-bellied Sandgrouse also found in Spain, Portugal and southern France. Most species are sedentary, although some make local migrations, usually at lower altitudes in winter.

Behavior and ecology

Diet and nutrition

Hazel grouse basically feed on seeds. Other items of food eaten include green shoots and leaves, bulbs and berries. Insect foods such as ants and termites can be eaten especially during the breeding season. The diet of many grouse is highly specialized, with seeds from a small number of dominant plant species. This may depend on the availability in a particular region, but in other cases it reflects the actual selection of favorable seeds over others of the choice of hazel grouses. Legume seeds are usually an important part of the diet. In agricultural areas, they easily feed on oats and other grains. The seeds are either harvested from the ground or directly from plants. Feeding methods vary from species to species. IN Namibia, Double-ranges Sandgrouse feed slowly and methodically until Namaqua sandgrouse feed quickly, exploring the loose soil with their beaks and shaking it away to the side. Grit grinds food before swallowing.

They are vulnerable to attacks during watering, but with a large number birdsWhen loitering, predators find it difficult to target birds and are likely to be spotted before they get close to their flock. Sandgrouse travel tens of miles to their traditional watering places and tend to ignore temporary sources of water that may periodically appear. This is likely to have survival value because dried water sources in an arid region can lead to dehydration and death. Sandgrouse Burchell in the Kalahari Desert, it sometimes travels over 100 miles (160 km) per day to reach a water source. Not all species need to drink every day, and the Tibetan Sandgrouse do not need to move around for watering due to the abundance of water from melting snows in their habitat.

Breeding

Sandgrouse monogamous. The breeding season usually coincides with the sowing of seeds after the local rainy seasons, at which time, the feeding of the flock tends to be paired. Nest is a small depression in the ground, sometimes lined with several pieces of dry foliage. Most typically, three eggs are laid, although sometimes there may be two or four. Incubation duties are common and in most species, males incubate at night and females sit on eggs during the day. Eggs usually withdrawn after 20-25 days. The hatched chicks are covered with down and leave the nest as soon as the last chick dry. The parents do not supply them with food and they learn from parental guidance what is edible and what is not. Chicks get water from soaked fluffy feathers on the chest of adults. At first, the chicks are too young and too young to regulate temperature and need shade during the hottest part of the day. They stay with their parents as a family group for several months.

Taxonomy

Pteroclididae was previously included in Galliformes due to the similarity of the family with the true hazel grouse... However, these similarities were later found to be superficial as a result of convergent evolution. Sandgrouse were later near dove-like largely due to their ability to drink "suck" or "pump" by the action of peristalsis of the esophagus. The only other group that shows the same behavior is Pteroclidae, stands not far from pigeons, it's just that these are undoubtedly very old characteristics. Recently, it has been reported that they cannot suck water in this way, and are currently being treated separately from the order Pteroclidiformes... They were reviewed next to passerine birds and, according to some, are close to waders.

In the DNA study of Fine and Oud, they were included in Metaves along with dove-like... In the larger Hackett study, they are again located close to the dove-like but also Mesites. A complex pattern, brood fluffy young and eggs very similar in color to many Charadriiformes... The eggs are elliptical.

Views hazel grouse:

Grouse

Length 31 to 39 centimeters (12 to 15 inches)

There are two subspecies:

P.. alchata - Spain, Portugal, France, northwest Africa

P.. caudacutus - Middle East, Turkey and east, to Kazakhstan

Status: Least Concern.

Night hazel grouse (night grouse)

Length 31 to 39 centimeters (12 to 15 inches)

There are three subspecies:

P. b. ansorgei - in the southwest of Angola

P. b. bicinctus - Namibia, Botswana, Northwest Cape

P. b. multicolor - Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Transvaal

Status: Least Concern.

Burchella hazel grouse

Length 25 cm (10 inches)

Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa

Status: Least Concern.

Grouse crowned (crowned sandgrouse)

There are five subspecies:

P. in. atratus - Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan

P. in. Coronatus - Sahara, Morocco to the Red Sea

P. in. Lad - Pakistan

P. in. saturatus - Oman

P. in. Vastitas - Sinai, Israel, Jordan

Status: Least Concern.

Black-faced hazel grouse (black-faced sandgrouse)

There are three subspecies:

P. D. decoratus - southeast and east of Kenya Tanzania

P. D. ellenbecki - northeastern Uganda, Northern Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia

P. D. loveridgei - western Kenya, West Tanzania

Status: Least Concern.

chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse (chestnut hazel grouse)

There are six subspecies:

P. E. Ellioti - Sudan, Eritrea, North Ethiopia, Somalia

P. E. erlangeri - Saudi Arabia, Gulf Countries, Yemen

P. E. exustus - Mauritania to Sudan

P. E. floweri - Egypt (almost certainly extinct)

P. E. Hindustan - southeast of Iran, Pakistan, India

P. E. olivascens - South of Ethiopia, Kenya, North Tanzania

Status: Least Concern.

Yellow-headed hazel grouse

There are two subspecies:

P. g. gutturalis - south of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa

P. g. saturatior - Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, North Zambia

Status: Least Concern.

Striped hazel grouse (striped sandgrouse)

Status: Least Concern.

Liechtenstein Rabchik

There are five subspecies:

P. l. targius - Sahara, Sahel, south of Morocco to Chad

P. l. lichtensteinii - Israel, Sinai, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia

P. l. sukensis - Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya

P. l. ingramsi - Yemen

P. l. arabicus - Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan

Status: Least Concern.

South African hazel grouse

Length 31 to 39 centimeters (12 to 15 inches)

Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa

Status: Least Concern.

Black hazel grouse

There are two subspecies:

BY.. agenars - Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Western China

BY.. eastern - North-West Africa, the Canary Islands, the Iberian Peninsula,

Cyprus, Middle East, Turkey and Iran

Status: Least Concern.

Madagascar hazel grouse

Status: Least Concern.

Four bands sandgrouse

Length 25 to 28 centimeters (9.8 to 11 inches)

Status: Least Concern.

Spotted hazel grouse

Length 33 centimeters (13 inches)

North Africa, Middle East and West Asia

Status: Least Concern.

Tibetan hazel grouse

Length 30 to 41 cm (12 to 16 inches)

Mountains of Central Asia, Tibet and Central China

Status: Least Concern.

Saja (grouse)

Length 30 to 41 cm (12 to 16 inches)

Mountains and steppes of Central Asia

Status: Least Concern.

Relationships with people

Hazel grouse little interaction with people, primarily because most species live in arid areas, deserted and at low densities. They are usually not as popular as game because they are not particularly tasty. An attempt to introduce them to Nevada failed, but they were introduced to Hawaii. None of the species are endangered, although there have been some localized range reductions, especially in Europe. A subspecies of chestnut hazel grouse, P. E. floweri, was last seen in the Nile Valley in Egypt in 1979. It was believed to be extinct, but the reasons for this are unknown.

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