Pterocles exustus Temminck and Laugier, 1825, Senegal. Six subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Common Indian sandgrouse, common sandgrouse, Indian sandgrouse, Kenyan pin-tailed sandgrouse, lesser pintailed sandgrouse, singed sandgrouse, small pin-tailed sandgrouse, Somaliland pin-tailed sandgrouse, chestnutbreasted sandgrouse; French: Ganga а ventre brun; German: Braunbauchflughuhn; Spanish: Ganga Moruna.
About 12.5 in (28 cm); 6–10 oz (170–284 g). Medium-sized; plumage mostly rich golden-buff; central, elongated tail feathers. Male has narrow, black breast-band; chestnut belly and underwing; and mottled back and wings. Female streaked and barred blackish; center of belly and underwing blackish brown; two or three narrow, brown breast-bands.
African Sahel from Senegal to Sudan and Ethiopia, northern Tanzania, Somalia, southern Arabian Peninsula, and most of Indian subcontinent.
Desert, semi-desert, dry steppe, arid scrub, and fallow fields.
Gregarious unless breeding, flocks are comprised of tens of thousands at favored drinking places. Birds forage mostly morning and evening, flying to water two to three hours after sunrise. Roost at night on ground in compact groups in open country.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Hard seeds, mostly grains and legumes; also said to feed on ants in Chad. Up to 10,000 seeds counted in one bird’s crop.
Breeds mostly May to December in Tanzania, but seasons vary in other parts of Africa according to rainfall and food supply. Breeding in India also variable but mostly February to August. Nest is shallow scrape in open, arid habitat. Clutch of three eggs incubated by male at night and female by day for about 23 days. Male waters chicks from his wet belly feathers.
One of the most common sandgrouse in Africa and India; in no danger of decline.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
May be hunted for food but not on large scale.
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