Scientific name: Francolinus pondicerianus, Gmelin, 1789
IUCN Red list status- Least Concern
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Grey Francolin is 29–34 cm long and weighs 260–340 Gms. They are barred throughout and the face is pale with a thin black border to the pale throat. The male can have up to two spurs on the legs while females usually lack them. They have darker rufous throat and super cilium. They are weak fliers and fly short distance and escapes into undergrowth. In flight it shows a chestnut tail and dark primaries.
Food of Grey Francolin includes seeds, grains as well as insects, particularly termites, beetles, larvae etc. Occasionally they take larger prey such as snakes. The foraging is done in ground mainly during daytime solitarily or in small groups.
The main habitat of Grey Francolin is dry, open-grass and thorn-scrub country. They avoid heavy forests and humid tracts. Sometimes they are seen in neighbourhood of villages and cultivation. They roost in groups in low thorny trees. In India they are seen throughout the drier areas of the union. They are also seen in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
The main breeding season is April to September and the nest is a hidden scrape on the ground. The nest may sometimes be made above ground level in a niche in a wall or rock. Normally 6-8 eggs are laid. The incubation of 18-20 days is manly done by the female. When the young ones come, both birds do the parental duties.
The call is a loud and repeated “Ka-tee-tar…tee-tar”. Females produce a less challenging “pela-pela-pela”
Related Species and Sub Species
- Francolinus pondicerianus pondicerianus of South India and Sri Lanka
- Baluchistan Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus mecranensis)
- North Indian Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus interpositus)
Non Migratory, Uncommon Resident