Family Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)

Least Concern

Tibetan Sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes tibetanus)


French: Syrrhapte du Tibet German: Tibetflughuhn Spanish: Ganga tibetana

Syrrhaptes tibetanus


, 1850,

Tso Morari Lake, Kashmir


Closely related to S. paradoxus. Birds from the Pamirs formerly separated as race pamirensis. Monotypic.


Pamir Mts (from E Tajikistan) and Kashmir E to Tibetan plateau (N to Altun Shan) and NW & WC China (Qinghai, W Gansu, W Sichuan), S to extreme N India (Himachal) and possibly Sikkim.

Descriptive notes

c. 40 cm; 299–395 g. Front toes feathered, hind toe lacking; long, pin-like central tail feathers. Eleven primaries, with the outermost normal unlike in S.... read more


Over long distance, calls have been likened to those of cranes or swans in flight, and considered... read more


Semi-desert or desert uplands, inhabiting bare, stony plateaux, rocky hillsides, gravelly or sandy... read more

Food and feeding

Buds, flowers and green parts of plants, especially legumes, in summer, switching mainly to seeds of similar species in winter, when... read more


Overall season mid Apr to late July, peaking May–Jun (S Tibet), but nests not recorded before early Jun in Tadjikistan, with young... read more


Sedentary; performs altitudinal movements to lower levels in winter, in order to escape from... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Reported as being relatively common and fairly widespread in Tibet, especially on Northern and Inner Plateaux, though information... read more

Recommended citation

de Juana, E. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Tibetan Sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes tibetanus). 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 May 2019).