6 Sep 2019

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse – Abu Arish

Whilst birding the Abu Arish area in July I came across a few small groups of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse Pterocles exustus. The largest flock was 15 birds. The species is a common breeding resident on the Tihama and southern Red Sea coastlands, less common in the Northern Hejaz north to Rabigh with all records below 1000 metres. They are a relatively small species, with elongated central tail feathers, dark underwing, blackish belly and unmarked head. The male has a narrow pectoral band and chestnut brown belly darkening towards rear, whereas the female is more mottled above and shows a tricoloured ventral pattern. Races differ mainly in tone of upperpart coloration with the Arabian population P. e. erlangeri sandy coloured. They typically inhabit bare semi-desert, often with scattered thorny scrubs or trees including Acacia. They feed during the cooler hours of morning and afternoon and drink 2–3 hours after sunrise, while in very hot weather some individuals drink again before sunset.
Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse

Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse



1 comment:

  1. Chestnut-bellied sandgrouse is commonly found in the Tihama and southern Red Sea and also in some places like Northern Hejaz to Rabigh. The main unique feature of the chestnut bellied sandgrouse is the long central tail feather. They are found mostly in semi-desert places and thorny plants and shrubs.

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