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Grey Francolins

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The Grey Francolins (Francolinus pondicerianus) are medium-sized Francolins found in the plains and drier parts of South Asia.

They have also been introduced into the continental United States and Hawaii.

Within their native range, their preferred habitats are open cultivated lands and scrub forests.


Males measure between 11.6–13.4 in (29–34 cm) and weigh usually 9–12 oz (260–340 g). The smaller females are usually between 10.2–11.9 in (26–30 cm) long and weigh 7–11 oz (200–310 g).

The plumage is barred throughout, except for the face which is pale with a thin black border to the throat; and chestnut tail and dark primaries that can be seen in flight..

Males can have up to 2 spurs on their legs, which are typically lacking in the females.


Subspecies, Ranges and Identification

Francolinus pondicerianus pondicerianus (Gmelin, 1789)– Nominate form

Range: Southern peninsula of India and Sri Lanka

ID: The throat and the supercilium (“eyebrows”) are a darker rufous color. The plumage is a richer brown.

[Francolinus pondicerianus ceylonensis] – form generally not recognized. Mostly believed to be part of the nominate form.

Baluchistan Grey Francolins (Francolinus pondicerianus mecranensis – Zarudny and Harms, 1913)

Range: In the arid areas of southeastern Iran and southern Pakistan

ID: Palest plumage

North Indian Grey Francolins (Francolinus pondicerianus interpositus – Hartert, 1917)

Range: Northern India and Pakistan

ID: Darker and intermediate plumaged individuals have been reported.


Calls / Vocalizations

Their calls of Grey Francolins are described as loud and repeated Ka-tee-tar…tee-tar.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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