Sandgrouse is the common name for Pteroclidae, a family of sixteen species of bird, members of the order Pterocliformes. They are traditionally placed in two genera. The two central Asian species are classified as Syrrhaptes and the other fourteen species, from Africa and Asia, are placed in the genus Pterocles. They are ground dwelling birds restricted to treeless, open country, such as plains, savannahs, and semi-deserts. They are distributed across northern, southern, and eastern Africa, Madagascar, the Middle East, and India through central Asia. The ranges of the black-bellied sandgrouse and the pin-tailed sandgrouse even extend into the Iberian Peninsula and France, and Pallas's sandgrouse occasionally breaks out in large numbers from its normal range in Asia.
Members of the genus Syrrhaptes are found in the steppes of central Asia. Their range extends from the Caspian Sea through southern Siberia, Tibet, and Mongolia to northern and central China. They are normally resident, but Pallas's sandgrouse can be locally migratory and very occasionally is irruptive, appearing in areas well outside its normal range. This happened in 1863 and 1888, and a major irruption took place in 1908 when many birds were seen as far afield as Ireland and the United Kingdom where they bred in Yorkshire and Moray.
Members of the genus Pterocles are mainly found in the drier parts of northern, eastern, and southern Africa, though the range of some species extends into the Middle East and western Asia. The Madagascar sandgrouse is restricted to Madagascar. The black-bellied sandgrouse and the pin-tailed sandgrouse also occur in Spain, Portugal, and southern France. Most species are sedentary though some make local migrations, typically to lower altitudes in winter.