Order: Galliformes

Family: Phasianidae

Scientific name: Galloperdix spadicea, Gmelin, 1789

IUCN Red list status-Least Concern

Did you know?

  • Red Spurfowl got the name due to the presence of spurs in their legs.


The Red Spurfowl is 37-40 cms long and weighs 250 -450 grams. They are reddish brown in colour and the males are larger than the females. Their upper body is darker in colour with dark barring. The face and neck of the male bird is greyish. Both the male and female birds have a red facial skin patch. The legs are red. Male birds have 2 to 4 pointed spurs on each leg while female birds have 1 or 2. The long feathers of the crown can be erected into a crest. When threatened they suddenly hide for cover between the undergrowth.


The diet of Red Spurfowls includes seeds, berries, fruits, molluscs and insects. They walk in the ground and searches for food holding the tail as in domestic fowl. The forage time is mainly day and it is done solitarily, pairs or in small groups containing three to five birds.


Spurfowl inhabit dry or moist, hilly Indian scrub jungles with thick undergrowth. They prefer areas with good undergrowth formed by the invasive plants. In India it is distributed throughout the union except North East area. They are absent in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar. A related species Sri Lanka Spurfowl is found in Sri Lanka.

Reproductive Behaviour

The breeding season lasts between January to June, before rains. The nest is a shallow scrape lined with grass and leaves placed in the ground of scrub or bamboo jungles. They are monogamous. Normally 3-5 eggs are laid.  Incubation of 18-21 days is done by female alone. Male birds guards the female and nest during that time. When the young ones come, they are raised by both parents.


The calls include a distinct “ker-wick…ker-wick” and harsh “karr…karr” notes.

Related Species and Sub Species

  • Painted Spurfowl (Galloperdix lunulata).
  • Sri Lanka Spurfowl (Galloperdix bicalcarata).
  • Galloperdix spadicea spadicea of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • Galloperdix spadicea caurina of Aravalli Hills, in Rajasthan State.
  • Galloperdix spadicea stewarti of Kerala.

Migratory Behaviour

Common Resident