Family Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)

Least Concern

Double-banded Sandgrouse (Pterocles bicinctus)


French: Ganga bibande German: Nachtflughuhn Spanish: Ganga bicinta

Pterocles bicinctus


, 1815,

Great Fish River, south-eastern Namibia


In the past, sometimes included in genus Eremialector. Affinities uncertain. Recent study#R suggests that this species may form a clade with P. decoratus, P. quadricinctus, P. lichtensteinii and P. indicus. Formerly considered conspecific with last two of those. Proposed races chobiensis (N Namibia and N Botswana) and elizabethae (W Namibia) included in nominate. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. b. ansorgei (Benson, 1947) – SW Angola.
  • P. b. usheri (Benson, 1947) – S & E Zambia, S Malawi, W & C Mozambique and N Zimbabwe.
  • P. b. bicinctus Temminck, 1815 – Namibia, Botswana and NW South Africa (N Northern Cape Province).
  • P. b. multicolor E. J. O. Hartert, 1908 – E Botswana and N & NE South Africa (S to E Northern Cape and Mpumalanga).
  • Descriptive notes

    25 cm; male c. 215–250 g, female c. 210–280 g. Among the small sand­grouse species of rounded tail and black and white design on forehead of males (subgenus... read more


    Primary call a complex phrase of mellow over-slurred notes, “pup…pup…kwe-kwee-ko-kwe-kwe-kweh-whew... read more


    Wide range of habitats, from sub-deserts to thick Brachystegia woodland; perhaps mostly... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds. Mostly inactive by day, usually feeds during early morning and late afternoon, and drinks at night.


    Breeds in winter dry season, Apr–Oct throughout range, mainly May and Oct in Namibia, May–Aug in Botswana, Jul–Aug in... read more


    Reputed as sedentary. However, at Borakalalo NP, North West province, South Africa, mainly present... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and fairly common to common throughout range. In C Transvaal bushveld formerly quite common but now only rare vagrant. During breeding... read more

    Recommended citation

    de Juana, E., Bonan, A. & Boesman, P. (2020). Double-banded Sandgrouse (Pterocles bicinctus). 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 25 January 2020).