Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Iranian Ground-jay (Podoces pleskei)


French: Podoce de Pleske German: Pleskehäher Spanish: Arrendajo terrestre iraní
Other common names: Pleske's Ground-jay

Podoces pleskei


, 1896,

Alkhor (= Alghur?), Khorasan, Iran


See P. hendersoni. Monotypic.


E Iran; probably also in adjacent W Afghanistan and W Pakistan#R.

Descriptive notes

24 cm; 85–90 g. A boldly patterned small corvid with slightly decurved, rather slim bill, relatively short glossy black uppertail-coverts. Head, neck and both... read more


Most frequently heard is a series of far-carrying, penetrating tremulous whistles, "tseee... read more


Sandy desert plains, and both Zygophyllum and Artemisia steppe, with scattered... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous, diet varying with season. In spring chiefly insectivorous, feeding principally on weevils (Curculionidae) and other beetles (e.... read more


Eggs laid in first half of Mar; single-brooded. Appears to have long-term pair-bond, partners keeping together all year. In Touran... read more


Sedentary; probably some dispersal in autumn-winter.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widely distributed over most of interior of E half of Iran, but by no means common; can be locally quite numerous. Found chiefly in... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2020). Iranian Ground-jay (Podoces pleskei). 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).