Double-banded Sandgrouse (Pterocles bicinctus)

male Double-banded Sandgrouse

male Double-banded Sandgrouse

The Double-banded Sandgrouse (Pterocles bicinctus) is a small, ground-living bird species which occurs throughout southern Africa. The birds live in arid to semi-arid areas where they feed mainly on seeds. They form monogamous pairs and the females lay two to three eggs in shallow depressions on the ground. At dusk, large flocks of sandgrouses gather at waterholes up to 50 km away from their nests. The males enter the water and let their plumage be soaked with water to be carried back to their offspring to drink.

I have seen and photographed these birds along the path to the rock paintings of the “White Lady” in the Brandberg Mountain of Namibia in February 2007. Several pairs were breeding and though the trail passed them in a distance of only a few metres, the birds were not shy and did not feel intimidated at all. Nevertheless, we did not get too close to avoid any stress for the animals or put them off breeding.

male Double-banded Sandgrouse

male Double-banded Sandgrouse

female Double-banded Sandgrouse

female Double-banded Sandgrouse

female on its nest

female on its nest

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