Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Near Threatened

Elgon Francolin (Scleroptila elgonensis)


French: Francolin de l’Elgon German: Elgonfrankolin Spanish: Francolín del Elgon

Francolinus elgonensis


, 1891,

Mt Elgon


Has been lumped within S. afra or S. shelleyi. Usually treated as race of S. psilolaema, but here as species due to plain off-white vs black-spotted off-white throat, bordered below by white-spotted black throatband vs no throatband (3); breast rufous with full black spots vs buffy with vague black half-spots (2); belly chestnut intermixed with grey vs creamy buff with chestnut crescents and chocolate-brown Vs (3); mantle black-spotted rufous-chestnut vs as on rest of upperparts (ns[2]); blackish of upperparts generally more intense and extensive, thus narrowing the buff barring, notably on wings (ns[2]). Proposed race theresae (Mt Kenya) synonymized. Monotypic.


E Uganda (Mt Elgon) E to C Kenya (Mau Narok, the Aberdares and Mt Kenya).

Descriptive notes

c. 32–35 cm. Medium-sized francolin with blackish crown, pale rufous ear-coverts and neck-sides; upperparts dark rufous-chestnut with narrow buffish barring, mantle with... read more


Short series of musical notes, very like that of S. psilolaema or S. shelleyi.... read more


Montane heather (Erica) moorland and grassland, at 2300–4000 m.

Food and feeding

Poorly known. Diet thought to include bulbs and roots. Generally seen in pairs or family parties.


Apparently recorded laying in all months except Sept–Oct, but mostly Jan–Jun. Probably monogamous. One nest was sited in rough... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Global population not known; reported in 1990s as being locally common to rare. Believed to be undergoing... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Elgon Francolin (Scleroptila elgonensis). 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 3 April 2020).