Black Francolin

Francolinus francolinus




Partridges, Grouse, Turkeys, Old World Quail (Phasianidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Olive-brown to brown with white spots.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 8

Incubation Days:

18 - 21

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On the ground, in thickets, scrub, or in a thorn bush.

Nest Material:

Shallow scrape lined with grass, twigs, and leaves.





Black Francolin: Plump game bird; male is mainly black below and golden brown above. Head is black with rufous-brown or tan crown and nape, rufous collar and white cheek patches. Brown scalloped back and wings. Lower back, rump, uppertail coverts are black with fine white bars. Breast and flanks black with white spots. Female is similar but dull with no cheek patch, and collar is replaced with a nuchal patch. Head and underparts are buff where the male shows black. Rump and uppertail coverts light brown. Juvenile resembles female, paler overall.

Range and Habitat

Black Francolin: Found in southern Asia from the Middle East to India. Historically also found in southern Europe, but extirpated from there by over hunting and habitat destruction. Inhabits thick vegetation, brushy areas and tall grasslands; generally near water, and “mosaic” areas where forests and cultivated lands meet.

Breeding and Nesting

Black Francolin: These birds are monogamous. They nest in a grass-lined shallow depression in the ground, usually well concealed by vegetation. They lay three to eight white-spotted olive-brown to brown eggs. Incubation is carried out by the female for 18 to 21 days. Both parents tend the chicks after hatching, and the young stay with parents throughout their first winter.

Foraging and Feeding

Black Francolin: These birds are omnivores. They forage on the ground and feed on an array of plants and animals, especially seeds and insects. Plant materials include grass and weed seeds, cultivated grains, buds, flowers, leaves, fruits and berries. They also eat small amphibians, reptiles, earthworms and spiders. They drink by dipping their bill into water, then lifting their head to swallow.


Black Francolin: Male sings a mechanical "kik-kik-kik", his territorial call is a loud and grating "kwee-kweeeee-kwee".

Similar Species

Black Francolin: Gray Francolin has gray-brown and buff body, buff instead of black throat, and lacks rufous collar.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

The upper front part of a bird.
Similar to the upper part of the human neck, located at the back of the crown.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X