The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Double-banded Sandgrouse

Afrikaans name: Dubbelbandsandpatrys

A pair of Double-banded Sandgrouse in Kruger National Park. The male is at the back.

A pair of Double-banded Sandgrouse with the male at the back

Photo © Steven Herbert

Pterocles bicinctus

Double-banded Sandgrouse behaviour

The Double-banded Sandgrouse is normally seen sitting on the ground in areas of short grass or even on dirt roads. Keep an eye out for them along the edge of dirt roads in Kruger National Park. They are normally seen singly or in pairs, sometimes in small flocks. In some area’s large flocks head to water at dusk.

Double-banded Sandgrouse appearance

These birds are around 25 cm in length and weight between 215 and 250 grams. Their spotted plumage blends in well with their surroundings. The male Double-banded Sandgrouse has black and white bars on its forehead and a chestnut throat.

Double-banded Sandgrouse diet

Their diet consists entirely of seeds, particularly from trees such as the Acacias. They mainly feed in the early morning and evening but are also known to feed at night when there is sufficient moonlight.

Double-banded Sandgrouse breeding

In South Africa their breeding season is predominantly between May and July. The nest is a mere scrape in the ground amongst some grass. A bit of dry plant material is added as lining. Normally the female lays 3 eggs but sometimes she only lays 2. The pair share the incubation duties with the female taking the night shift and the male the dayshift. Both parents tend to the chicks.

Double-banded Sandgrouse distribution and habitat

The South African distribution of these sandgrouse is a clear band, from coast to coast, across the northern parts of the country. Their preferred habitats are dry bushveld, savanna and other areas with scrub as well as rocky hillsides.

Male Double-banded Sandgrouse

Photo © Steven Herbert

Above - Double-banded Sandgrouse male

Below - Double-banded Sandgrouse female

Female Double-banded Sandgrouse

Photo © Steven Herbert

References and further reading

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Published: 2011 - Page: 102

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 2011 - Page: 220

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 118

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 125

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 165

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 214

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 221

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1985 - Page: 301

Roberts Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Published: 1993 - Page: 297

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 212

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 2000 - Page: 194

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 194

Gamebirds and Waterfowl of Southern Africa - Author: CG Finch-Davies, Dr Alan Kemp - Published: 1986 - Page: 165

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 148

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 113

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Published: 1999 - Page: 38

Game Ranger in your Backpack - Author: Megan Emmett and Sean Pattrick - Published: 2013 - Page: 169

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Published: 1991 - Page: 76

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Published: 1987 - Page: 78

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 54

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 140

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 117

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1975 - Page: 117

BirdLife South Africa


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