Family Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-throated Sandgrouse (Pterocles gutturalis)


French: Ganga à gorge jaune German: Gelbkehl-Flughuhn Spanish: Ganga gorjigualda

Pterocles gutturalis

A. Smith

, 1836,

near Kurrichane, western Transvaal, South Africa


In the past, sometimes included in genus Eremialector. Recent study#R suggests that this species is part of a clade that contains also P. personatus and P. coronatus; or, alternatively, that all three may form a group along with the two Syrrhaptes species, P. orientalis, P. namaqua and P. exustus, and possibly including also P. alchata and P. burchelli; further study needed. Proposed race tanganjicae (from E of L Tanganyika) considered inseparable from saturatior. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. g. saturatior E. J. O. Hartert, 1900 – Ethiopia S through Kenya and Tanzania to extreme N Zambia.
  • P. g. gutturalis A. Smith, 1836 – SE Angola, S Zambia and W Zimbabwe S to NE Namibia, Botswana and N South Africa (W Limpopo and North West Province).
  • Descriptive notes

    30 cm; male c. 340–345 g, female c. 285–400 g. Short, wedge-shaped tail; no breastband but conspicuous head pattern in male: supercilium, sides of face, chin and... read more


    Flight call a peculiar guttural nasal rhythmic phrase, “ki-kwoak....kok-korr-rorr”, sometimes... read more


    Open plains with short grass, often near rivers or swamps; favours recently burnt areas; also found... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly consumes seeds, including those of Leguminosae (Cassia, Crotolaria, Sesbania), Gramineae (Leersia... read more


    Mainly nests in dry season, Apr–Sept, but precise timing varies through extensive range. Nest is a scrape or a natural hollow in... read more


    Race saturatior largely sedentary; race gutturalis partially migratory, breeding... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Frequent to locally common throughout most of sizeable range. Usually recorded in small parties, but sometimes in large flocks. Said to have declined... read more

    Recommended citation

    de Juana, E. & Boesman, P. (2020). Yellow-throated Sandgrouse (Pterocles gutturalis). 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 22 February 2020).