syrrhaptes paradoxus


Syrrhaptes is a genus of birds in the sandgrouse family. It comprises two central Asian species.

These are large birds breeding in open steppes or plateau. They nest in a ground scrape into which three eggs are laid.

Both species have mainly buff upperparts, an orange face and feathered legs and toes. They are smaller-headed than other sandgrouse, but have sturdy compact bodies.

Although there is range overlap, they are easily distinguished. Tibetan Sandgrouse has a white belly and black underwings, whereas Pallas's has a black belly and white underwings.

These birds are gregarious like other sandgrouse. Flocks fly to watering holes at dawn and dusk, on long pointed wings.


  • Pheasants, Partridges and Grouse by Madge and McGowan, ISBN 0-7136-3966-0

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