Birda Logo
Species Guide
A photo of a Grey Francolin (Ortygornis pondicerianus)
Grey Francolin

Grey Francolin

Ortygornis pondicerianus

The Grey Francolin, Ortygornis pondicerianus, is a medium-sized bird of the francolin genus, notable for its barred plumage and pale face with a thin black border around a pale throat. Males, larger than females, may sport up to two leg spurs, while females typically lack them. The species exhibits sexual dimorphism in size, with males measuring between 29–34 cm and weighing 260–340 g, and females measuring 26–30 cm with a weight range of 200–310 g.

Identification Tips

In the field, one can distinguish the Grey Francolin by its overall barred appearance and the pale face contrasted by the black-bordered throat. The painted francolin is a similar species but can be differentiated by its rufous vent. When in flight, the Grey Francolin reveals a chestnut tail and dark primaries.


The Grey Francolin is predominantly a ground-dwelling bird, favoring open cultivated lands, scrub forests, and other open habitats. It is typically found at elevations below 500 m in India and up to 1200 m in Pakistan.


This species is native to the plains and drier parts of the Indian subcontinent and Iran. It is also present in north-western Sri Lanka and has been introduced to the Andaman and Chagos Islands, as well as Nevada and Hawaii in the United States.


Grey Francolins are often observed in small groups, foraging on the ground. They are known for their loud and distinctive calls, particularly in the mornings. The calls include a repeated "Ka-tee-tar…tee-tar" and variations used for mating and challenging. They are weak fliers, preferring to escape into undergrowth after short bursts of flight.

Song & Calls

The species is vocal with a variety of calls. The female's call is a repeated "tee…tee…tee" or "kila..kila..kila," while the challenge call is a duet of "kateela..kateela..kateela."


The Grey Francolin's breeding season spans from April to September. Nests are typically scrapes on the ground, sometimes elevated in a wall or rock niche. Clutch sizes range from six to eight eggs, though larger clutches have been recorded, possibly due to brood parasitism.

Diet and Feeding

Their diet consists of seeds, grains, insects (notably termites and beetles), and occasionally larger prey like snakes. They are particularly adept at foraging for food on the ground.

Conservation status

The Grey Francolin is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN. However, they are hunted in much of their range, often using low nets and calling decoy birds.

In culture

The Grey Francolin has a long history of domestication in the northern Indian subcontinent for the purpose of bird fighting. Domesticated birds are significantly larger than their wild counterparts and exhibit a high degree of tameness.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Grey Francolins on Birda


More Pheasants & Allies

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Erna M
I really like Birda
I really like Birda. I also use other birding apps and have Birda with E-bird going at the same time.
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Dan R
Great app for bird fanatics
Great app for bird fanatics - very user friendly and a perfect place to share sightings.
Wonderful App
Birda is my go to app for keeping records of my bird sightings and sessions. It has fantastic information which is great at aiding identification. With all the updates that are coming in the new year, this app is something special.
Great App
Great app to use for logging and communicating with others who are interested in birds
Really great app
It’s easy to use and it’s fun to log the birds you notice on a walk or just in your garden. There’s a option to record the birds you see in a session which is really nice. Good excuse to stop for a while and just watch birds. I am also enjoying the information part where you can find out fact about birds from all over the world.
Hip An
Really enjoying Birda where I live i have a lot of Red kites really hard to photograph but I can video are you planning some place on the app where us Birda can post vids🦉🦅
Safira V
Birding and wellbeing app
Birda is an excellent platform to share your love of Birding and is a great tool of encouragement for a Birding Beginner like me. Birda has a very kind and supportive community of Birding enthusiasts. For me BIRDA is not only a BIRDING but also a WELLBEING App.
Jake W
Great app
I use this app all the time as it’s quick and easy to log individual sightings or whole birding sessions. It’s an excellent way to meet new people and the forum is full of really friendly people. The challenges are a great way to get involved and learn more about birds. Cannot recommend it enough!
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.