Burchells sandgrouse

Pterocles burchelli

Burchell's sandgrouse is a species of bird in the Pteroclididae family. It is found in arid and semi-arid regions of southern Africa. The name of this bird commemorates the English naturalist William John Burchell.
Burchell's Sandgrouse - Camouflage Master An adult Burchell's Sandgrouse visits a watering hole, in full display of its impressive camouflage markings.   Burchells sandgrouse,Geotagged,Namibia,Pterocles burchelli,camouflage,markings,pattern,spots,water

Appearance

Burchell's sandgrouse is a plump bird about the size of a pigeon with a small head and short legs. The eye is surrounded by bare yellow skin, the cheeks and throat are pale grey and the body is light brown, mottled with darker shades and white speckles. The male grows to about 25 cm long and the female is a little smaller.
Burchell's Sandgrouse A pair of very well camouflaged Burchell's Sandgrouse chicks.  The parents will "hide" the chicks in underbrush until they are able to fly.  Chicks are very difficult to identify ... had it not been for the parents being present, it would not be possible to identify these chicks.   Needless to say, Jackals, Eagles and all varieties of raptors and scavengers easily prey on these vulnerable chicks.  Burchells sandgrouse,Geotagged,Namibia,Pterocles burchelli,camouflage,chicks,cute,hidden,hide,small,vulnerable

Distribution

Burchell's sandgrouse is found in Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It is normally resident but moves about to a limited extent depending on the availability of water and the seeds it mainly eats. It is widespread and common in much of its range. It frequents areas of rough grass and scrub, especially on red Kalahari sand and has been able to extend its range because of the greater availability of water after the sinking of boreholes by farmers.

Habitat

Burchell's sandgrouse is found in Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It is normally resident but moves about to a limited extent depending on the availability of water and the seeds it mainly eats. It is widespread and common in much of its range. It frequents areas of rough grass and scrub, especially on red Kalahari sand and has been able to extend its range because of the greater availability of water after the sinking of boreholes by farmers.

Reproduction

Burchell's sandgrouse is monogamous and breeds during the dry season between April and October. The nest is formed in a shallow depression in the ground often concealed among grass tussocks or under a bush. It is lined with a few fragments of dry vegetation and two or usually three eggs are laid. Both parents incubate the eggs and the chicks are precocial when they hatch, covered in down and soon able to run after the adult birds. Both parents care for the young and, as in other sandgrouse species, water is brought to them absorbed in the specially adapted feathers that line the parents' breasts.

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Status: Least concern
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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPteroclidiformes
FamilyPteroclididae
GenusPterocles
SpeciesP. burchelli
Photographed in
Namibia