Sandgrouse – Desert Water-carriers | BirdNote



Sandgrouse – Desert Watercarriers

Written by Rick Wright

That is BirdNote.

[Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (3869) 01:07 and following]

Sandgrouse — pointy-tailed family members of pigeons — dwell in among the most parched environments on earth. To fulfill the thirst of newly hatched chicks, male sandgrouse deliver water again to the nest by carrying it of their feathers. It sounds unbelievable, and for many years, scientists thought it was only a fantasy. But it surely’s not. Within the cool of the desert morning, the male flies as much as twenty miles to a shallow water gap, then wades in as much as his stomach. 

[Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse (3868) 01:10 and following]

The water is collected by “rocking.” The chook shifts its physique aspect to aspect and repeatedly shakes the stomach feathers within the water; fill-up can take so long as fifteen minutes. Due to coiled hairlike extensions on the feathers of the underparts, a sandgrouse can absorb and transport 25 milliliters of liquid. That’s shut to 2 tablespoons.

[Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (3869) 02:29 and following]

As soon as the male has flown again throughout the desert along with his life-giving cargo, the sandgrouse chicks crowd round him and use their payments like tiny squeegees, “milking” their father’s stomach feathers for water they so desperately want.

[Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (3869) 02:29 and following]

For BirdNote, I’m Mary McCann.

[Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse (3869) 02:29 and following]


Bird sounds offered by The Macaulay Library of Pure Sounds on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.  Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse [3868] by Myles E.W North; Lichtenstein’s Sandgrouse [3869] by Myles E.W. North.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and performed by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Government Producer: Dominic Black

© 2016 Tune In to     February 2018/2019/2022   Narrator: Mary McCann


ID#  sandgrouse-01-2016-02-16        sandgrouse-01


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