Family Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)

Least Concern

Pallas's Sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes paradoxus)


French: Syrrhapte paradoxal German: Steppenflughuhn Spanish: Ganga de Pallas

Tetrao paradoxa


, 1773,

southern Tartarian Desert


Closely related to S. tibetanus. Monotypic.


Mostly between 40° N and 50° N, from Kazakhstan (extreme S Ural Mts) and N Uzbekistan E through extreme S Siberia and Mongolia to NC China (Gansu), S to NW & WC China (Xinjiang; Kunlun Shan and Qaidam Basin, in Qinghai); sporadically E to Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang (NE China). Recorded as wintering in Nanning area of Guanxi, in S China#R.

Descriptive notes

27–41 cm; male c. 250–300 g, female c. 200–260 g; wingspan 60–78 cm. Front toes feathered, hind toe lacking; long, pin-like central tail feathers;... read more


Commonest calls in flight a repeated, single, abrupt and over-slurred nasal “chup” or “pup”, and... read more


Steppe and semi-desert, with low, sparse vegetation of grasses or shrubs (Arte­misia... read more

Food and feeding

Takes seeds and also some green shoots of many different plants including Leguminosae, Polygonaceae, Chenopodiaceae, Cruciferae and... read more


Laying from mid Apr to Jun. Nests on ground, sometimes sheltered by bush or grasses; often close to other pairs, with nests only 4–6... read more


Partially migratory; northern areas abandoned for winter, from Sept/Oct to Mar/Apr; extent of... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Extensive range and remote, sparsely populated habitat probably make present species relatively safe. Somewhat sporadic in occurrence... read more

Recommended citation

de Juana, E. & Boesman, P. (2019). Pallas's Sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes paradoxus). 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 24 May 2019).