Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Sand Partridge (Ammoperdix heyi)


French: Perdrix de Hey German: Arabisches Wüstenhuhn Spanish: Perdiz desértica

Perdix Heyi


, 1825,

Desert of Aqaba, Arabia


Races intergrade; intermedius sometimes included within nominate heyi. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. h. heyi (Temminck, 1825) – Jordan Valley S to Sinai Peninsula and through N & C Saudi Arabia.
  • A. h. nicolli E. J. O. Hartert, 1919 – N Egypt (E of R Nile) S to C Egypt.
  • A. h. cholmleyi Ogilvie-Grant, 1897 – C Egypt (E of R Nile) S to N Sudan.
  • A. h. intermedius E. J. O. Hartert, 1917 – W Saudi Arabia S to Yemen, E through Oman (to Muscat) and Musandam Peninsula (UAE).
  • Introduced unsuccessfully to Cyprus.

    Descriptive notes

    22–25 cm; c. 180–200 g; wingspan 39–41 cm. Male slightly larger than female and has orange, rather than dull yellowish, bill; irides reddish brown or pale... read more


    Male's advertising call is a rising, yelping "kew-kew-kew" or "watcha-watcha-... read more


    Desert and semi-desert, usually on steep, rocky slopes with scattered vegetation; boulder-strewn,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mixed diet of seeds, berries and insects (including locusts); eats mostly seeds in summer; often takes berries of Salvadora persica... read more


    Season Feb–Aug in Israel, where probably double-brooded at least in years with good rains during preceding winter, with eggs in Mar... read more


    Very few data available, but species is apparently only a vagrant in Lebanon and in Israel those at... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Common in Oman, where population stable; widespread, common and probably stable throughout most of range in Saudi... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Sand Partridge (Ammoperdix heyi). 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 11 December 2019).