Birds of Morni: Grey Francolin

November 21, 2011

Grey Francolin/ Safed Teetar (Francolinus pondicerianus) is about 2 feet in length. Is plump and greyish – brown and is barred throughout. The face and throat is pale. A black border marks the throat. The tail is short and chestnut. Males have spurs on the legs. It is found in open, thorny scrub areas around fields and villages, upto 500 metres in the Himalayas. Feeds on grain, insects, seeds etc. Largely found on the ground and is a fast runner. It is a weak flier and when startled it rises with loud flaps of rounded wings followed by a short glide. It roosts in thorny trees. It has a ringing, high pitched musical call, ‘Kaa… tee…tar’ giving the bird its local name, ‘teetar’. It nests inside the scrub and moves in small groups. The bird is hunted all over the country. They are also domesticated for bird fights.

Grey Francolins on Daman-Thapli road, Morni-Tipra hills

Grey Francolins on Daman-Thapli road, Morni-Tipra hills

Grey Francolins at Chhamla, Morni Hills

Grey Francolins at Chhamla, Morni Hills

The Grey Francolin can sometimes be spotted enjoying a sand bath to get rid of the mites and other blood parasites that stick tp its feathers.

Grey Francolin enjoying a sandbath at Chhamla, Morni Hills (September 2014)

Grey Francolin enjoying a sandbath at Chhamla, Morni Hills (September 2014)

Filed in: Birds

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An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

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