Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus) from USDA NRCS
The Black Francolin, Francolinus francolinus, is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds.
It is one of the few francolins to have a range outside Africa. It is a resident breeder from Cyprus and south-eastern Turkey eastwards through Iran to southwest Turkmenistan and northeast India. Its range was formally more extensive, but over-hunting has reduced its distribution and numbers. There have been a number of introductions, but most have failed to take root.
This bird is found in scrubby habitats with plenty of low cover. It nests in a bare ground scrape laying 8-12 eggs. Black Francolin takes a wide variety of plant and insect food.
The Grey Partridge-sized male is mainly black, with white spotting on the back and flanks. It has a chestnut neck collar, white cheek patches and brown wings. The legs are red. The female is mainly brown, but has a chestnut hind neck.
This is a very unobstrusive species, best seen in spring when the male sings a mechanical kik-kik-kik from a mound. It has a Pheasant's explosive flight, but prefers to creep away unseen.
The easiest place to see this bird is on and around Paphos Airport in Cyprus, the only country with a recovering population. However, this is also a military base, so people creeping around the perimeter with telescopes and binoculars may attract interest from the police.
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