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Sand Partridge: 19 Facts You Won’t Believe

Sand partridge often runs when frightened or disturbed instead of flying. Read on to discover more interesting sand partridge facts!

The sand partridge (Ammoperdix heyi) is a sandy brown gamebird that belongs to the family of Phasianidae and is of the Ammoperdix genus. These birds are said to be closely related and similar to their counterpart, the see-see partridge. This bird can be identified with brownish-white feathers present in layers on the lower part of the breast, resembling ruffles. The gray head with a white patch on the cheek makes these birds easy to distinguish from the see-see partridge. The young ones and the female sand partridge are more washed-out versions of the adult partridge male. Since this species of birds adapt well to hot environments, they are resident breeders in dry arid deserts and hilly countries. As a result, the sand partridge (Ammoperdix heyi) range and distribution are quite common in countries from east to south Arabia like Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and Oman.

Belonging to the Galliformes order, the breeding pattern of these species of birds is not known in detail. The sand partridge nest is built on the ground. They use small grass blades, branches, twigs, and leaves to make the nest. Usually seen in pairs or small groups, these sand partridges have an omnivorous diet and search for insects and small birds from time to time but a large part of their diet is herbivorous. The population and distribution of the sand partridge exist in stable numbers around the world and their range does not face any threat as their conservation status by the IUCN has been stated as of Least Concern. The sand partridge's song sounds more of a yelp and also tends to echo in a rocky plain. The male call is often louder and stronger than that of the female which has a more light and shrill tone. The female sand partridge is a paler and lighter version of the male bird. The male can be identified with its gray head.

If you enjoyed reading about this desert bird, make sure to check out our verdin facts or house finch facts that you are sure to enjoy!

Sand Partridge Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a sand partridge?

The sand partridge (Ammoperdix heyi) is a brownish-gray bird that belongs to the family of Phasianidae and is of the Ammoperdix genus.

What class of animal does a sand partridge belong to?

This bird, which is a resident bird to parts of east and south Arabia, belongs to the class of Aves.

How many sand partridges are there in the world?

The exact number of these birds with an omnivorous diet is not known but given their Least Concern conservation status by the IUCN, their distribution and population do not face any major threat and their range exists in stable numbers across the world.

Where does a sand partridge live?

These ground birds of the Galliformes order are known to make their homes in dry regions like deserts and hilly countries. They have a high tolerance for hot places and have these partridges have adapted well to them.

What is a sand partridge's habitat?

A sand partridge (Ammoperdix heyi) is known to inhabit dry and semi-dry areas as well as rocky plains and hilly terrains. That is why these birds are often found in the countries of the Middle East and south Arabia, where the climate and environment are hot. The heat does not faze these birds since their pheasant-like body is well adapted to it. If the heat gets unbearable, they frequent open areas near the river banks and riverine vegetation, avoiding tree slopes.

Who does sand partridge live with?

These partridges are often found to live in pairs or small groups. Being monogamous too, they mate for life and will only search for a new mate when their previous one dies.

How long does a sand partridge live for?

The exact lifespan of the sand partridge is not known but they do have a short life expectancy and live a short life.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding in these partridge birds is unique. It's quite normal for more than two families to form a group after the breeding season. Often living in pairs, these sand partridges species mate for life and are hence, monogamous. The pair together build their nest on the ground with small grass blades, tiny twigs, leaves, and thin branches. The female is known to lay around five to seven eggs. Both the sexes take turns incubating the eggs. Once the eggs hatch after a period of three to five weeks, the young ones follow the parents around. After a few weeks, the young partridges become independent but still continue to stay close to their parents. Sometimes, this bird may steal the eggs of other birds but there is no evidence to back this statement up.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these resident breeders, which are endemic to the Middle East and south Arabia, according to the IUCN is Least Concern. Their current population does face any threats and the distribution of this partridge species is very close to stable with the sand partridge range being secure.

Sand Partridge Fun Facts 

What does the sand partridge look like?

The partridge birds are commonly found on the ground looking for seeds and insects.

The sand partridge (Ammoperdix heyi), as the name goes, is a sand-colored bird species that belongs to the Phasianidae family and Galliformes order. They can be easily noticed if you pay attention to their intricate physical features. The male bird has a gray head and lesser markings on the body. The tail feathers of these birds are a dark chestnut color. The females and the juveniles take on a more washed-out version of the male's coloring.

How cute are they?

This sand partridge (Ammoperdix heyi) cannot be considered a cute bird given its dullish sand-brown color. However, they are captivating birds since the feathers on the underside of their breast look like ruffles on them, making the partridge look like a puffed-up bird.

How do they communicate?

As they are partridges, these social birds use their vocal abilities as well as their body language to communicate with each other. The sand partridge's song sounds more of a yelp or a short cry and also tends to echo in a rocky plain.

How big is a sand partridge?

The sand partridge(Ammoperdix heyi) is 8.6-9.8 in (21.8-24.8 cm) in length. These birds are slightly smaller than pheasants but definitely bigger than quails!

How fast can a sand partridge fly?

Very little is known about these partridge birds when in flight. Irrespective of this, these species of partridges are pretty lazy fliers and prefer to run when in danger or when disturbed. They do fly, but only for a very short distance once they are out of danger's way. They are hardly found in trees, often foraging in search of food.

How much does a sand partridge weigh?

These birds weigh about 6.3-7 oz (178.6-198.4 g). They are estimated to weigh about the same as a pigeon.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names sand partridges.

What would you call a baby sand partridge?

The juvenile sand partridge (Ammoperdix heyi) is called a chick. The young sand partridge, during the breeding season, feeds excessively on various kinds of insects instead of vegetation. They take on a pale, lighter version of the male sand partridge.

What do they eat?

These birds are often found feeding on various sorts of insects like ants, termites, caterpillars, worms, and so on along with certain types of grass, seeds, and berries. This indicates that these birds enjoy an omnivorous diet but in current times, it has been noticed that they feed a lot on vegetation and small plants as well.

Are they dangerous?

These sand partridge birds are not dangerous at all and they do not pose any threats to humans. In fact, if danger approaches the sand partridge, it will turn and run in the opposite direction!

Would they make a good pet?

This sedentary bird, which shows a preference towards dry and arid regions, would not make good pets although they are quite social. This is because, above all else, this bird is a wild bird. The sand partridge (Ammoperdix heyi) cannot be kept at homes but it is possible to breed them on farms.

Kidadl Advisory: All pets should only be bought from a reputable source. It is recommended that as a potential pet owner you carry out your own research prior to deciding on your pet of choice. Being a pet owner is very rewarding but it also involves commitment, time and money. Ensure that your pet choice complies with the legislation in your state and/or country. You must never take animals from the wild or disturb their habitat. Please check that the pet you are considering buying is not an endangered species, or listed on the CITES list, and has not been taken from the wild for the pet trade.

Did you know...

A group of the partridges is called a 'covey'. The young chicks are included in this group and when they get mature enough, they disband and form coveys of their own!

Do humans eat them?

You'd be surprised to learn that they do! Since the Bedouin groups and other nomadic groups live in deserts, they constantly hunted them for food. This was common in parts of Jordan too, where people often took the partridge eggs when herding their cattle.

Is it a game bird?

The sand partridge (Ammoperdix heyi) is a game bird because its eggs were frequently taken by Bedouin tribes and other nomadic groups.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these gray partridge facts and partridge facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in on one of our free printable sand partridge coloring pages.

Second image by Len Worthington.

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