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Grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus) complete detail – updated

Grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus) complete detail. Description of Grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus). Habit and habitat of Grey francolin. Classification of Grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus).  Identification of Grey francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus). 
The Grey Partridge inhabits dry, open grass and thorny-scrub country interspersed with cultivation, and avoids heavy forest and humid tracts. It is commonly found on the outskirts of villages. They are mostly found in thorn scrub, dry light jungle and open cultivation areas. They are usually seen in small groups.
Gray Francolins are grayish-brown game birds with short stubbed tail. The dark border patch around the neck is absent in the immature Grey francolins. Gray Francolins has buff-coloured spear-shaped streaks, irregular………..
They are weak fliers. The breeding season is between April to September and the nest is a hidden scrape on the ground. Nest is a simple grass-lined scrape in the ground, in grassland, ploughed fields , standing crops or scrub jungle.

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Classification

Common Name – Grey francolin

Other Name – Grey partridge

Local Name – Teetar or Bhoora Teetar

Zoological Name – Francolinus pondicerianus

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Aves

Order – Galliformes

Family – Phasianidae

Sub-family – Perdicinae

Genus – Francolinus

Conservational Status – Schedule – IV, according to wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 and classified as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN.

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Distinctive Identification

Size: Male size between 28 to 34 cm and Female size between 25 to 30 cm. The males weigh is between 250–350 g whereas the weight of the females is between 200–320 g.

Gray Francolins are grayish-brown game birds with short stubbed tail. The dark border patch around the neck is absent in the immature Grey francolins. The cheeks, throat and forehead are orange.

Gray Francolins has buff-coloured spear-shaped streaks, irregular mottles and bars of reddish brown and black above. Grey francolin is barred throughout and the face is pale with a thin black border to the pale throat.

Males have an anchor shaped black mark on throat that is absent in females. Males larger than females.

Distribution

Grey francolin is Native to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Oman, Iran, Nepal, Turkmenistan and also  Introduced in Bahrain, Andaman and Chagos Islands, Mauritius, Qatar, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, Nevada and Hawaii in United States. It is Vagrant in Afghanistan.

They found in the plains and drier parts of South Asia upto altitudes of 1000 m. Resident in the drier portions mostly plains throughout India up to about 1.500 ft. in the Himalayas, east to Bengal and south to Ceylon.

Habit and habitat

The grey francolin is normally found foraging on bare or low grass covered ground in scrub and open country.

The Grey Partridge inhabits dry, open grass and thorny-scrub country interspersed with cultivation, and avoids heavy forest and humid tracts. It is commonly found on the outskirts of villages.

They are mostly found in thorn scrub, dry light jungle and open cultivation areas. They are usually seen in small groups.

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Gray Francolins are fast runners and prefer to run when approached or disturbed. They take to wing only when surprised in the bushes or when persistently chased. Flight is swift and direct, attained by rapid vibrating wing strokes.

They are weak fliers and fly short distances, escaping into undergrowth. Bird drops into grass again after flying a couple of hundred meters.

Their local Hindi name is “Teetar” is based on their loud repeated Ka-tee-tar-tee-tar call which may be produced by more than one bird at a time.

They feed on seeds, grains, as well as insects, particularly termites and beetles. They also eats maggots, white-ants and other insects.

They roost at night up in thorny trees and bushes, and will often take shelter into these when harried in day-time. The call of the cock Grey Partridge is one of the most familiar.

It commences with two or three rather subdued chuckles, rising in scale and intensity, followed by a ringing high-pitched and musical kateetur-kateetur or pateela-pateela, quickly repeated. The call of the female is a less challenging pela-pela-pela.

The breeding season is April to September and the nest is a hidden scrape on the ground. Nest is a simple grass-lined scrape in the ground in grassland, ploughed fields, standing crops or scrub jungle.

Eggs 4 to 8, reddish or yellow buff, speckled and blotched with dark brown in color. Apparently only the hen incubates though both parents usually accompany the chicks. Average life span of Gray Francolins is 8 years.

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