|Female Tibetan sandgrouse. Photograph has been taken at Tso Kar, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, India|
The Tibetan sandgrouse (Syrrhaptes tibetanus) is a large bird in the sandgrouse family. The genus name Syrrhaptes is from Ancient Greek surrhaptos, "sewn together" (the feathered toes of this sandgrouse are fused together) and tibetanus is from the type locality, Tibet.
The Tibetan sandgrouse is about 30–41 cm long, with a small, pigeon-like head and neck, but sturdy compact body. It has long pointed wings and pin tail. It has an orange face, finely barred grey breast, neck and crown, white belly and black underwings. Male has unspotted buff wing while the female has barred wing coverts, upperparts and upper belly than the male. Juvenile lacks the tail pin, has narrower barrings and has less orange on the face. White belly and dark underwings are distinctions from the related Pallas's sandgrouse, with which its range overlaps. As with that species, its small feet lack a hind toe, and the three front toes are fused together. The upper surface is feathered, and the underneath has a fleshy pad. The appearance of the foot is more like a paw than an avian foot.
Currently considered monotypic. Birds from the Pamirs were earlier separated as race pamirensis. The species was first described by Gould in 1850 based on specimen from Tso-Morriri in Ladakh.
Tibetan sandgrouse is found in mountains ranges of Central Asia, Tibet, Central China and the Himalayas. Though the population is decreasing, due to the large range and low rate of population decrease, the species is classified as "Least Concern" by IUCN.
Tibetan sandgrouse is found on barren sandy plains near water. They are gregarious and form loose flocks. Their flight is fast and direct and on the wings, a clanging double note is uttered repeatedly. Flocks fly noisily to watering holes at dawn and dusk, usually the former, though less regular than other sandgrouse.They forage in the morning and afternoon on the undulating semi-desert plains. While foraging, their movements are fast and rapid. During the middle of the day it squats in a small depression in the ground, basking in the sun. They are generally not wary, especially in the middle of the day during resting.
This species breeds from May to June on the arid stony plateau and ridges, the nest site generally chosen near the top of the ridge on the leeward side. Its nest is a ground scrape in which three pale brown elliptical eggs with cryptic markings are laid. Generally the nest is exposed, though occasionally could be protected by a stone or grass.The young ones are able to move around soon after hatching. They move around with the flock. When threatened, adults resort to distraction displays, while the chicks crouch and freeze.
They feed on seeds, grass, buds and legumes.
Sandgrouse is the common name for Pteroclidae, a family of sixteen species of bird, members of the order Pterocliformes. They are traditionally placed in two genera. The two central Asian species are classified as Syrrhaptes and the other fourteen species, from Africa and Asia, are placed in the genus Pterocles. They are ground dwelling birds restricted to treeless, open country, such as plains, savannahs, and semi-deserts. They are distributed across northern, southern, and eastern Africa, Madagascar, the Middle East, and India through central Asia. The ranges of the black-bellied sandgrouse and the pin-tailed sandgrouse even extend into the Iberian Peninsula and France, and Pallas's sandgrouse occasionally breaks out in large numbers from its normal range in Asia.
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Pallas's sandgrouse is a medium large bird in the sandgrouse family named after the German zoologist Peter Simon Pallas. The scientific name is from Ancient Greek. The genus Syrrhaptes is from surrhaptos, "sewn together" and paradoxus is from paradoxos, "strange".
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Syrrhaptes is a genus of birds in the sandgrouse family. The genus name is from Ancient Greek surrhaptos, "sewn together"; the feathered toes of birds in this genus are fused together.
Pterocles is a genus of near passerine birds in the sandgrouse family. It includes all the species in the family except for two central Asian species in Syrrhaptes
The Black-necked Crane is a medium-sized crane in Asia that breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and remote parts of India and Bhutan. It is 139 cm (55 in) long with a 235 cm (7.8 ft) wingspan, and it weighs 5.5 kg (12 lbs). It is whitish-gray, with a black head, red crown patch, black upper neck and legs, and white patch to the rear of the eye. It has black primaries and secondaries. Both sexes are similar. Some populations are known to make seasonal movements. It is revered in Buddhist traditions and culturally protected across much of its range. A festival in Bhutan celebrates the bird while the Indian union territory of Ladakh has designated it as the state bird.
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