904. Pterocles arenarius

Pterocles arenarius (Pall.), Nov. Com. Petrop, xix. p. 418, pl. viii. (1774) Naum. vi. p. 258, Taf. 153 ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 257 ; Dresser, vii. p. 61, pl. 466 ; Ogilvie Grant, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxii. p. 18 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv. p. 54.
Cortical, Portug. ; Ortega, Corteza, Span. ; Koudhre, Arab. ; el Koudri, Moor. ; Bhat-titar, Bakht, Hindu.
Male ad. (Spain). Crown, nape, and hind neck ashy pearl-grey ; back, scapulars, lesser wing-coverts variegated greyish black and orange-clay colour, the rump rather darker ; larger wing-coverts orange-yellow ; secondaries marked with orange-yellow on the outer web ; primaries slate- grey externally ; tail brownish ash tipped with white, the terminal portion indistinctly barred with dark brown ; chin and upper throat rusty red, becoming rusty orange on the sides of the neck, below this a large black mark ; lower neck and breast isabelline pearl-grey, the latter crossed by a distinct black stripe ; abdomen black ; bill dull horn-blue ; tarsus feathered, the feet dull lead-grey ; iris brown. Culmen 0.65, wing 9.2, tail 4.1, tarsus 1.3 inch. Female pale sandy ochreous, the head, neck, and upper breast spotted, the upper parts and middle tail-feathers cross-banded with black ; sides of head and upper throat clay-yellow, lower throat and breast more rufous ; a blackish stripe across the throat and a black band across the lower breast ; abdomen black ; lower tibia and tarsus ochreous ; under tail-coverts dirty white.
Hab. South-western Europe ; a rare straggler in other parts of Southern Europe ; North Africa ; Canaries; South-western Asia to Turkestan, and N.W. India in winter.
Inhabits the plains, especially in sandy desert localities ; in Spain it is found in the dry marismas. It is very shy and wary, and extremely swift on the wing, and has a peculiar loud croaking cry. It feeds on seeds of various kinds, and frequents regular drinking places in the mornings and evenings. Its nest is a mere depression scratched in the soil, and its 3 eggs are usually deposited in June, and are elongated oval in shape, light stone-buff marbled with indistinct purplish grey shell-markings, and light brown surface blotches, and measure about 1.85 by 1.30 to 2.00 by 1.35.

A Manual Of Palaearctic Birds
Dresser, Henry Eeles. A Manual of Palaearctic Birds. Vol. 2. 1903.
Title in Book: 
904. Pterocles arenarius
Book Author: 
H. E. Dresser
Page No: 
Common name: 
Black Bellied Sand Grouse
Pterocles orientalis arenarius
Vol. 2

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