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Grey francolin

Francolinus pondicerianus

Photo by Jugal Tiwari (Discover Life)

Common name:
grey francolin (en); francolim-cinzento (pt); francolin gris (fr); francolín gris (es); wachtelfrankolin (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

This species is found throughout most of India and eastern Pakistan, and also into southern Nepal, southern Iran and marginally into Afghanistan. It has also been introduced to the south-eastern Arabian Peninsula, to several island in the Indian Ocean such as the Seychelles, Reunion and Mauritius, and to Hawaii.

These birds are 30-35 cm long and weigh 200-340 g.

The grey francolin is found in grasslands, semi-thorny scrublands, dry savannas and arable land, most often favouring areas near human settlements.

They feed mainly on the seeds and shoots of various grasses and herbs, including cereals and other crops, but also take fruits and berries, and insects such as termites.

Grey francolins can breed all year round and nest in a scrape on the ground or in a niche in a rock wall. There the female lays 6-9 buff eggs which are incubated for 21-23 days. The chicks leave the nest soon after hatching, following the parents around for the first few weeks.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is reported to be common in most parts of its range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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