22 October 2011

Grey Francolin

The Grey Francolin (Francolinus Pondicerianus) is very common in scrubland throughout this area. This bird can also be found in large numbers in grasslands and in cultivated areas near villages.

I intentionally prevent thorny bushes around the side of my cottage being felled by wood cutters in order to provide a safe sanctuary for the large number of Francolins that rummage and nest near my house.

Juvenile Grey Francolin

This bird is a plump, stub-tailed greyish brown game bird with chestnut blotching above, barred plummage and chestnut wings. The male is slightly larger than the female and has a pointed spur on each leg.

Adult Drinking

Gray Francolins are fast runners and prefer to run when approached or disturbed. They take to wings only when surprised in the bushes or when persistently chased.

Adult Grey Francolin

This bird lives and feeds on the ground in daytime, mostly in pairs or small parties, but at night roosts on small trees. Its food consists of grain, seeds, shoots, drupes, termites, and insects and it may occasionally take larger prey such as snakes.

Male Adult Eating

The loud calls of the birds are commonly heard early in the mornings. Pairs of birds engage in duet calls. The female call is a tee...tee...tee repeated and sometimes a kila..kila..kila and the challenge call kateela..kateela..kateela is a duet. They are usually seen in small groups.

Male with Spur on Leg

The breeding season is practically throughout the year. Clutch size of 4 to 8 cream coloured eggs with an incubation period of 21-23 days. Both parents are very attentive.


The nest is a grass-lined depression in the ground, usually hidden under bushes or in crop cultivation. The nest may sometimes be made above ground level in a niche in a wall or rock. The bird roosts in groups in low thorny trees

Adult with Young

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