Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-naped Francolin (Pternistis castaneicollis)


French: Francolin à cou roux German: Braunnackenfrankolin Spanish: Francolín cuellicastaño
Other common names: Chestnut-naped Spurfowl

Francolinus castaneicollis


, 1888,

Lake Ciar-Ciar (= Chercher), Hararghe, Ethiopia


Has been separated in genus Oreocolinus. Validity of proposed races bottegi (S Ethiopia) and gofanus (SW Ethiopia) doubtful owing to clinal variation, and all are included in nominate; similarly, patrizii (SW Ethiopia) subsumed within kaffanus. Hitherto considered to include P. atrifrons, which however differs in entirely chestnut-free plumage (3); absence of broad bold grey markings on feathers of breast, flanks and thighs with contrasting white fringes or internal bars (3); breast thereby left with soft-edged arrow-shaped grey scaling (ns) and belly much plainer and unmarked, dull creamy white (1); smaller size, reflected in somewhat smaller bill, legs and feet (sample small; projected score 1). Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. castaneicollis (Salvadori, 1888) – WC to E Ethiopia.
  • P. c. kaffanus (C. H. B. Grant & Mackworth-Praed, 1934) – SW Ethiopia.
  • P. c. ogoensis (Mackworth-Praed, 1920) – NW Somalia.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 38–43 cm; male 915–1200 g, female 550–650 g. Black forehead and creamy white belly separate from otherwise rather similar P. jacksoni; from ... read more


    Loud “kawar-kawar” accompanied by harsh “kek kek kek”, thought to be a duet between partners.... read more


    Forest, glades and undergrowth, altitude limits appearing to vary with locality. Recorded between... read more

    Food and feeding

    Seeds, and insects such as termites (Isoptera). Forages in coveys, picking food from ground or taking it from plant heads, rather than by... read more


    Lays Oct–Mar in Ethiopia; eggs in late May (wet season) and late Dec (dry season) in Somalia. Probably monogamous. Nest a depression... read more


    Sedentary. Difficult to flush and if disturbed typically runs into cover uphill.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Occurs in suitable habitat throughout range of c. 265,000 km². Generally common to abundant, but considered superabundant in... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K., Kirwan, G.M. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Chestnut-naped Francolin (Pternistis castaneicollis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 16 December 2019).