Pallas’s Sandgrouse

The Pallas’s Sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes paradoxus), is a medium large bird in the sandgrouse family. This species breeds across middle latitudes of central Asia on dry steppes and similar habitats. It is a partial migrant, especially from the northern parts of its range in Kazakhstan and Mongolia, but the extent and distance of the southerly winter movement depends on the amount of snowfall.

Pallas’s Sandgrouse is 11.8 to 16.2 inches long, with buff plumage, barred above, a black belly patch and pale under-wings. The male has a gray head and breast, orange face and gray breast band. The female lacks the breast band, has more barring on the upperparts and is duller. This sandgrouse has a small, pigeon-like head and neck, but sturdy compact body. It has long pointed wings and tail and a fast direct flight. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk. The legs and toes are feathered.

Its nest is a ground scrape into which 2-3 greenish eggs with cryptic markings are laid.

This bird is named after the German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas.