Pterocles lichtensteinii Temminck, 1825, Nubia. Four subspecies usually recognized.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Abyssinian sandgrouse, close-barred sandgrouse, Somaliland sandgrouse, Suk sandgrouse; French: Ganga de Lichtenstein; German: Wellenflughuhnl; Spanish: Ganga de Lichtenstein.
About 9.8 in (25 cm); 6.2–8.8 oz (175–250 g). Smallish, without elongated, central tail feathers. Both sexes strongly barred black on buff above and below; male distinguished by blackand- white forehead pattern, yellow bill, and two broad breastbands of buff, each bordered black below. Downy chick, unusual in being almost plain brown; other sandgrouse chicks boldly patterned above.
Discontinuous from Mauritania to Ethiopia and Somalia, central Kenya, southern Arabian Peninsula, Socotra Island, and North-West Frontier province of Pakistan.
Extreme rocky or scrubby desert hillsides and dry washes; avoids open desert and cultivated fields.
Most desert-adapted sandgrouse. Normally in pairs or small groups by day, gathering into larger flocks at dusk to fly to water. Lands a few yards from water, then runs down to drink. Kidney structure is especially well adapted to water conservation; water-carrying capacity of male’s belly plumage is greatest for any sandgrouse studied. Largely nocturnal, roosting by day in shade of rocks or plants.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Small, hard seeds, especially of Acacia sayal and other legumes.
Breeds mainly May to July, rarely to September. Nest is shallow scrape among scattered rocks and vegetation. Two or three camouflaged eggs form usual clutch but little else known.
Common over most of range. Very arid habitat provides best protection from humans.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Probably very little contact with humans because of extreme
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