Family Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)

Least Concern

Spotted Sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus)


French: Ganga tacheté German: Tropfenflughuhn Spanish: Ganga moteada

Tetrao senegallus


, 1771,

Senegal; error = Algeria


Relationships uncertain; plumage characters suggest that it is closest to P. exustus. Population in extreme E of range (India) formerly separated as race remotus. Monotypic.


S Morocco, Western Sahara and N Mauritania E locally through Sahara Desert (S to N Mali) to Egypt, Eritrea and N Somalia, and Levant, Arabian Peninsula and S Iraq E to SW Afghanistan, S Pakistan and NW India (W Rajasthan, occurring in Thar Desert).

Descriptive notes

30–35 cm; c. 250–340 g; wingspan 53–65 cm. Only sandgrouse with elongated central rectrices lacking colour separation on breast; diagnostic longitudinal... read more


Flight call a loud double-noted “whik!-kaaw” (the first note over-slurred, second downslurred),... read more


Sparsely vegetated semi-desert and desert, with patches of vegetation; drinking water is required... read more

Food and feeding

Consumes primarily small, hard seeds; apparently shows distinct preference for certain plants, e.g. Euphorbia guyoniana and ... read more


Laying Mar–Jul. Nest is scrape or natural depression on ground; typically hoof-marks in Iraq, or near a stone in E Morocco. Usually 3... read more


Perhaps mostly sedentary and nomadic; wintering reported for areas of Morocco and Algeria (Oct... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread and frequent to common throughout most of extensive range. Patchily distributed in Morocco; uncommon in Arabian Peninsula. Common resident... read more

Recommended citation

de Juana, E. & Boesman, P. (2020). Spotted Sandgrouse (Pterocles senegallus). 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 20 January 2020).