Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Erckel's francolin

Pternistis erckelii

Photo by Jim Denny (Flickr)

Common name:
Erckel's francolin (en); francolim-de-Erckell (pt); francolin d'Erckel (fr); francolín de Erckel (es); Erckelfrankolin (de)

Order Galliformes
Family Phasianidae

This species is found in Eritrea, northern Ethiopia and eastern Sudan.

These birds are 39-43 cm long and weigh 1.050-1.590 g.

The Erckel's francolin is mostly found in high-altitude scrublands, favouring areas dominated by Carissa, Rumex, Maytenus and Rosa, but also use moist tropical forests, rivers and stream. They occur at altitudes of 2.000-3.500 m.

They feed mainly on seeds, shoots and berries, but also take some insects.

Erckel's francolins breed in April-November and are believed to be monogamous. They nest in a scrape in the ground, where the female lays 4-10 eggs. The eggs are incubated for 21-23 days and the chicks leave the nest soon after hatching and follow the mother around while being able to feed themselves.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is reported to be generally common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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