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Pterocles bicinctus (Double-banded sandgrouse) 

Dubbelbandsandpatrys [Afrikaans]; Simbote (generic term for sandgrouse) [Kwangali]; Xighwaraghwara [Tsonga]; Mokgwarakgwara [Tswana]; Dubbelbandzandhoen [Dutch]; Ganga bibande [French]; Nachtflughuhn [German]; Corticol-de-duas-golas [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Charadriiformes > Family: Pteroclidae

Pterocles bicinctus (Double-banded sandgrouse) 

Double-banded sandgrouse female. [photo Callie de Wet ]

Pterocles bicinctus (Double-banded sandgrouse) 

Double-banded sandgrouse male. [photo Trevor Hardaker ]

Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to southern Africa, occurring from southern Angola, southern and eastern Zambia and marginally southern Malawi to Namibia, northern and eastern Botswana, northern and southern Botswana, Mozambique and northern South Africa. It generally prefers Mopane (Colosphermum mopane) woodland, although it may also occur in Acacia and other wooded savannas, especially with gravel plains or low hills with tussocky grass and scrub.

Distribution of Double-banded sandgrouse in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project ( Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Predators and parasites

It has been recorded as prey of Falco peregrinus (Peregrine falcon).

Movements and migrations

Thought to be largely sedentary, although it may make local movements in search of water, especially in the dry season.


It mainly eats seeds, doing most of it foraging in the early morning, late afternoon and at night (provided there is enough moonlight). The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

  • seeds
    • Acacia
    • Requenia sphaerosperma (Red pea)
    • Tephrosia
    • Cyperus
    • Bidens bidentata (Blackjack)
    • Datura innoxia (Hairy thorn-apple)


  • Monogamous, solitary nester, with them male performing a pre-copulatory display in which he slowly walks around near the female with his tail pointing upwards and his bill pointed toward the ground.
  • The nest is a shallow scrape in the soil, gravel or sand, typically lined with a few pieces of dry plant material and placed between grass tufts, beneath a bush or out in the open.
Pterocles bicinctus (Double-banded sandgrouse)  

Double-banded sandgrouse nest, Ruacana, Namibia. [photo Warwick Tarboton ]

  • Egg-laying season is from February-September, peaking from May-August in Namibia and Botswana and from July-September in Zimbabwe and northern South Africa.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 23-24 days (recorded in captivity).
  • The development and care of the chicks is little known, but it is thought that chicks can fly strongly by the time they are roughly a month old, developing the adult plumage 2-5 months later.


Not threatened, in fact it is well represented in protected areas and has moved into more arid areas thanks to the construction of artificial water bodies.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.