Fun Sandgrouse Facts For Kids

Iram Ashfaq
Feb 29, 2024 By Iram Ashfaq
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Amazing sandgrouse facts that will thrill you.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

While some people might refer to them as birds, sandgrouse are actually ground-dwelling creatures. Sandgrouses are often spotted in the hot desert sands in most parts of the world, and they're pretty cute when you see them. The sight of their feathers flapping as they take off is a delight to watch! The birds look like mini ostriches with fluffy belly feathers covering their body. You can see them running really quickly on those long legs, all while looking around too.

These animals are known to be good hunters despite not being very big, due to how cunningly they hunt prey by lurking. Sandgrouses can be seen sticking their heads deep into the earth forming a depression in the ground while walking on all four legs with a very straight posture. When it comes time for the mating season or when there's danger nearby these animals will take flight by running until given enough momentum at which point they'll leap off of the ground into the air.

For more relatable content, check out these saker falcon facts and pygmy falcon facts for kids.

Sandgrouse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a sandgrouse?

The sandgrouse is a cute little bird that lives in the desert. Sandgrouses are considered one of the most iconic birds to live in a harsh environment. They have a long, slim body and an equally slender beak that is perfect for probing through the sand.

What class of animal does a sandgrouse belong to?

The sandgrouse belongs to the class of birds. One of the most beautiful birds in the world is a sandgrouse. These small, brownish-gray, and white feathered animals are known for their speeds when running and jumping across dunes while capturing insects along with some food that they find.

How many sandgrouses are there in the world?

For centuries, people have studied the sandgrouse distribution to determine how many are left. This is a problem because there are no definite ways of determining an accurate count of how many sandgrouse there are. However, one thing is known that there are 16 different species of sandgrouse across the whole world.

Where does a sandgrouse live?

The sandgrouse is a type of bird that resides in the desert mostly near an oasis and primarily lives on seeds.

What is a sandgrouse's habitat?

The sandgrouse is a unique animal that lives in the deserts of India, the Middle East, North Africa, and parts of Western Asia.

Who do sandgrouses live with?

These desert birds are part of the Pteroclidae family and spend most of their time in solitude, but they also tend to travel with large flocks.

How long does a sandgrouse live?

The sandgrouse life is difficult but it can live for up to ten years. They are not the fastest birds but they have a unique way of hiding from predators and other threats when on the ground that no other creature has been able to imitate yet.

How do they reproduce?

Females lay eggs and give birth to babies with the mother incubating her own egg for around 30-40 days. After hatching, she leaves the baby in the nest while going off to look for food. The chicks are born without belly feathers or any ability to fly yet.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is Least Concern. The sandgrouse is resilient, even in harsh conditions.

Sandgrouse Fun Facts

What do sandgrouses look like?

Sandgrouse birds are a fascinating species of bird. They have long necks and legs for digging deep into the dirt to find food like insects and crickets, which they can spot from miles away as anything dark sticks out against that bright white desert horizon. Sandgrouse chicks don't just dig in the sand but also use their long pointed wings to fan themselves off during heat waves as it is important they keep cool or else risk death by overheating!

Sandgrouses search for food in the desert.

How cute are they?

The sandgrouse species are such cute birds. The way they roam across the landscape is so graceful and elegant, like ballerinas on a stage or swans gliding down a creek.

How do they communicate?

The sandgrouse bird is a notoriously solitary bird. This species of birds rarely interact with one another, and when they do it's only for a few moments at best. This interaction is mostly to find out what the other is up to or if there is danger nearby. Apparently like bees in their hive-mind ability to know where everyone else has gone, sandgrouse has an uncanny way of communicating across long distances using visual signals that can be seen from miles away.

How big is a sandgrouse?

The sandgrouse size ranges from 9.4 to 15.7 in (24-40 cm). This sandy-colored bird is small, but its wingspan can reach good lengths.

How fast can a sandgrouse fly?

Sandgrouse birds are capable of flying at speeds in excess of 100 mph (160 kph). Check out the flying speed of the peregrine falcon, you will be astounded!

How much does a sandgrouse weigh?

They weigh about 0.3-1.1 lb) (150-500 g), around 100 times smaller than an ostrich.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Sandgrouse birds don't have any specific scientific names for either females or males as of now. Females are known as female sandgrouses and males are referred to as male sandgrouses.

What would you call a baby sandgrouse?

Unfortunately, the babies of sandgrouse birds do not have any specific names, so we'll just call them baby sandgrouse for now.

What do they eat?

The sandgrouse diet mostly consists of berries, seeds, insects, and worms. However, their own predators can be round the corner, like African wild dog.

Are they dangerous?

Sandgrouse birds are not dangerous, as long as you observe them from afar with no intention of touching one or going near the sandgrouse habitat.

Would they make a good pet?

Sandgrouse birds are not like your typical hamster or goldfish. They are more of a wild animal that can be found in the deserts and dunes.

Did you know...

Sandgrouse birds are animals that can withstand extreme heat due to their ability to pant for air, drink minimal amounts, and regulate the flow of water in order to cool themselves. They are unique animals that can withstand temperatures up to 122 F (50 C).

What are the different types of sandgrouse?

The sandgrouse range often seems interminable with so many species. There are over 16 species of sandgrouse found across the world. Some of them are as follows sandgrouse pterocles, Pallas's sandgrouse, pin tailed sandgrouse, chestnut bellied sandgrouse or Pterocles exustus, painted sandgrouse, Namaqua sandgrouse, spotted sandgrouse, black-bellied sandgrouse, yellow-throated sandgrouse, Madagascan sandgrouse, four-banded sandgrouse, double-banded sandgrouse, Tibetian sandgrouse, Burchell's sandgrouse, black-faced sandgrouse, and crowned sandgrouse.

How does a sandgrouse carry water?

Mostly, the male sandgrouse are responsible for water transportation, so their chicks can drink water as and when they want. Male sandgrouses are surprisingly effective when it comes to carrying water back to their chicks. By using the coiled hair-like extensions on their feathers, they carry water back to the nest. The sandgrouse is able to soak up and transport about two tablespoons of liquid in these belly feathers.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other bird from our frigate facts and secretary facts pages.

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

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Written by Iram Ashfaq

Bachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

Iram Ashfaq picture

Iram AshfaqBachelor of Dental Surgery, Master of Public Health

With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.

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