Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies III

Erckel's Francolin (Pternistis erckelii) ©WikiC

Erckel’s Francolin (Pternistis erckelii) ©WikiC

“Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 7:3 KJV)

This Sunday’s section of the Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae Family has 32 Francolins and 8 Spurfowl contained in 5 genera.

“Francolins are birds that traditionally have been placed in the genus Francolinus, but now commonly are divided into multiple genera (see Taxonomy), although some of the major taxonomic listing sources have yet to divide them. The francolins’ closest relatives are the junglefowl, long-billed partridge, Alectoris and Coturnix. Together this monophyletic clade may warrant family status as the Gallusinidae.

When all are maintained in a single genus, it is the most diverse of the Galliformes, having by far the most members. Francolins are terrestrial (though not flightless) birds that feed on insects, vegetable matter and seeds. Most of the members have a hooked upper beak, well-suited for digging at the bases of grass tussocks and rootballs. They have wide tails with fourteen retrice feathers. Most species exhibit spurs on the tarsi.”

Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus) ©WikiC Spurs of the male

“Of the approximately 40 living species, the natural range of five (comprising the genus Francolinus) are restricted to Asia, while the remaining genera are restricted to Africa. Several species have been introduced to other parts of the world, notably Hawaii.” (Wikipedia, with editing)

The Francolinus genre is: Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus), Painted Francolin (Francolinus pictus), Chinese Francolin (Francolinus pintadeanus), Grey Francolin (Francolinus pondicerianus), and the Swamp Francolin (Francolinus gularis).

Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus)by Nikhil Devasar

Black Francolin (Francolinus francolinus) by Nikhil Devasar

The four Peliperdix species are the Latham’s Francolin (Peliperdix lathami), Coqui Francolin (Peliperdix coqui), White-throated Francolin (Peliperdix albogularis), and the Schlegel’s Francolin (Peliperdix schlegelii)

Coqui Francolin(Peliperdix coqui) by Dave's BirdingPix

Coqui Francolin (Peliperdix coqui) by Dave’s BirdingPix

The next seven belong in the Scleroptila genre. The Ring-necked Francolin (Scleroptila streptophora), Grey-winged Francolin (Scleroptila afra), Red-winged Francolin (Scleroptila levaillantii),
Finsch’s Francolin (Scleroptila finschi), Shelley’s Francolin (Scleroptila shelleyi), Moorland Francolin (Scleroptila psilolaema), and the Orange River Francolin (Scleroptila gutturalis).

Shelley’s Francolin (Scleroptila shelleyi) ©WikiC

Shelley’s Francolin (Scleroptila shelleyi) ©WikiC

The lone Crested Francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) is the one in its genre.

Crested Francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) ©WikiC

Crested Francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) ©WikiC

The Pternistis has two names of birds in its genera. The Francolins and the Spurfowls. ” Its 23 species range through Sub-Saharan Africa. They are commonly known as francolins or spurfowl but are closely related to jungle bush quail, Alectoris rock partridges and Coturnix quail. The species are strictly monogamous, remaining mated indefinitely. They procure most of their food by digging. Partridge-francolins subsist almost entirely on roots, beans of leguminous shrubs and trees, tubers, seed, feasting opportunistically on termites, ants, locusts, flowers and fruit.


Yellow-necked Spurfowl (Pternistis leucoscepus) ©USFWS

Scaly Francolin (Pternistis squamatus), Ahanta Francolin (Pternistis ahantensis), Grey-striped Francolin (Pternistis griseostriatus), Hildebrandt’s Francolin (Pternistis hildebrandti), Double-spurred Francolin (Pternistis bicalcaratus), Heuglin’s Francolin (Pternistis icterorhynchus), Clapperton’s Francolin (Pternistis clappertoni), Harwood’s Francolin (Pternistis harwoodi), Swierstra’s Francolin (Pternistis swierstrai), Mount Cameroon Francolin (Pternistis camerunensis), Handsome Francolin (Pternistis nobilis), Jackson’s Francolin (Pternistis jacksoni), Chestnut-naped Francolin (Pternistis castaneicollis), Djibouti Francolin (Pternistis ochropectus), Erckel’s Francolin (Pternistis erckelii), Hartlaub’s Spurfowl (Pternistis hartlaubi), Red-billed Spurfowl (Pternistis adspersus), Cape Spurfowl (Pternistis capensis), Natal Spurfowl (Pternistis natalensis), Yellow-necked Spurfowl (Pternistis leucoscepus), Grey-breasted Spurfowl (Pternistis rufopictus), Red-necked Spurfowl (Pternistis afer), and Swainson’s Spurfowl (Pternistis swainsonii).

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“I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.” (Psalms 50:11 KJV)

“Hiding in the Shadow of the Rock” ~ Dr. Richard Gregory


Sunday Inspirations

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies I

Sunday Inspiration – Pheasants and Allies II

Pheasants and allies – Phasianidae

Is There a God?


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