Family Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)

Least Concern

Crowned Sandgrouse (Pterocles coronatus)


French: Ganga couronné German: Kronenflughuhn Spanish: Ganga coronada

Pterocles coronatus

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

Nubia, south Egypt–north Sudan


In the past, sometimes included in genus Eremialector. Recent study#R suggests that this species is part of a clade that contains also P. gutturalis and P. personatus; or, alternatively, that all three may form a group along with the two Syrrhaptes species, P. orientalis, P. namaqua and P. exustus, and possibly including also P. alchata and P. burchelli; further study needed. Race ladas, supposedly with less black above, greyer breast and weaker wing markings than atratus, sometimes subsumed within latter#R. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. coronatus M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823 – Sahara Desert from S Morocco and Western Sahara E to NC Sudan and Red Sea.
  • P. c. vastitas R. Meinertzhagen, 1928 – Sinai (NE Egypt) and neighbouring areas of Israel and Jordan.
  • P. c. saturatus Kinnear, 1927 – hilly country of interior Oman.
  • P. c. atratus E. J. O. Hartert, 1902 – S Arabia (except interior Oman) and S Iran E to SW Afghanistan and SW Pakistan (Baluchistan).
  • P. c. ladas Koelz, 1954 – S Pakistan (Sind).
  • Descriptive notes

    27–30 cm; 240–300 g; wingspan 52–63 cm. Short, but pointed central rectrices; lacks bands or patches on undersides; in flight, dark remiges contrast with... read more


    Gives soft "kla kla kla" or staccato but far-carrying "cha-chagarra", with a... read more


    Desert and semi-desert, including the very hottest and driest areas; prefers stony over sandy... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds mainly on seeds, often small and hard ones; also takes shoots. In Sudan, favours Tephrosia apollinea (Leguminosae); in S... read more


    Season mainly Apr–Jul in NW Africa (though unfledged young seen as late as end of Sept in Morocco), from Mar in Chad and Oman, and... read more


    Sedentary and nomadic. In NE Morocco formerly occurred only in Oct–Mar, but small numbers... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Arabian population recently estimated at c. 6000 pairs. Widespread and fairly common as a rule: frequent in Algeria, where is commonest sandgrouse in... read more

    Recommended citation

    de Juana, E. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Crowned Sandgrouse (Pterocles coronatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 January 2020).