Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus
- Francolinus : Italian name Franci –Free Fowl, because the common people were forbidden to take them as the royalty had granted them freedom of living
- Pondicerianus : from Pondicherry in India
Vernacular Names: Baluchistan: Kapinja, Pushtu: Tauzarai, Sind: Achho tetar, Hindi: Raam teetar, Safed teetar, Gora teetar, Pun: Jirufi, Bhura tittar, Ben: Khyr, Guj: Khadyo tetar, Dhuliyo thethar, Mar: Chittur, Rakhi tittar, Ori: Titar, Ta: Kaudari, Te: Kawanga, Budidarangu kamsu, Mal: Kozhi kata, Kan: Gowjal hakki, Sinh: Ussa watuwa
Distribution in India: Widespread resident in Lowlands and small hills except for North East of India.
Description: Size of 330–35 cm; Wt. of male 255–418 g, female 200–365 g. It is an uniformly and finely patterned Asian francolin; throat has a pattern, buffy throat fringed with black characteristic; chestnut outer rectrices are conspicuous in flight. The female is similar to male, but smaller and lacks spurs, the male has single spur. The bill is dark, irides are brown and legs are orange. The juvenile is similar to adult, but less clearly marked on head and throat. The races are separated on pale to dark body coloration: nominate is brownest and darkest with strong barring and darker rufous throat, supercilia and ear-coverts; race interpositus is paler with whitish central throat ; race mecranensis is the palest and greyest, with almost the entire throat whitish.
Habitat:It is found in grassland and semi-thorny scrub; dry rolling plains and plateaux, especially in areas near village crops. It can be found in dry land conditions and degraded country with thorn scrub.
Food Habits: It eats seeds of grasses, weeds and cereal crops, shoots, leaves, tubers, berries and figs; also a range of insects and their larvae, especially termites, Coleoptera and Orthoptera. It forages on the ground and is very shy. It is usually in pair or single male with multiple females.
Breeding Habits: They breed in Dec-Aug in India. They are monogamous with stable pair-bonds. The nest is a scrape, lined with grass and leaves; usually placed under cover, but sometimes exposed, in fields, shrubby gullies, hedges and amongst cacti. They lay a clutch of 6-10 eggs, laid at one-day intervals. The incubation period is 18–22 days, by female alone. Both the parents look after the chicks. The chicks are fully grown in 35 days but are capable of short flights at 9–22 days.