Family Crows and Jays (Corvidae)

Least Concern

Mongolian Ground-jay (Podoces hendersoni)


French: Podoce de Henderson German: Mongolenhäher Spanish: Arrendajo terrestre mongol
Other common names: Henderson's Ground-jay

Podoces Hendersoni

A. O. Hume

, 1871,

no locality = between Sanju and Koshtak, Xinjiang, China


Together with P. biddulphi sometimes separated in Eupodoces, differing from other two members of present genus in having black on crown, relatively long uppertail-coverts and dark legs, and lacking blackish breast patch. Monotypic.


SC Russia (Tuva) and W & S Mongolia S to NW & N China (S to Tien Shan, E to NE Qinghai, N Gansu, W Inner Mongolia and Ningxia).

Descriptive notes

28 cm; 104–140 g. Beautifully patterned little corvid with gently decurved bill, slightly ruffled rear crown, and rather long uppertail-coverts concealing basal half of... read more


Hardly studied. Calls include harsh penetrating whistle, and a sound likened to the "clack-... read more


Flat extensive stony or gravel desert or semi-desert with scattered bushes, e.g. peashrub (... read more

Food and feeding

Omnivorous. Food during breeding season mainly insects, especially beetles (Coleoptera), and even small lizards recorded; at other times... read more


Few nests found. Eggs laid late Mar in W Xinjiang (Kashi) and early Apr in Inner Mongolia (Junggar basin), in China, and late Apr to early... read more


Sedentary, as far as is known. Vagrant to Kazakhstan, with single reliable record in Oct 1962.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon. In Mongolia not rare, but thinly spread over Gobi desert and in semi-deserts farther north. In China, population studies... read more

Recommended citation

Madge, S. (2020). Mongolian Ground-jay (Podoces hendersoni). 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 February 2020).