Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Grey-breasted Francolin (Pternistis rufopictus)


French: Francolin à poitrine grise German: Graubrustfrankolin Spanish: Francolín del Victoria
Other common names: Grey-breasted Spurfowl

Pternistes rufopictus


, 1887,

Wembere Steppe, Tanzania


Relationships uncertain; has been thought to be close to P. leucoscepus, P. afer and P. swainsonii. Hybridization with P. leucoscepus reported from SE Serengeti National Park (N Tanzania)#R. Monotypic.


N Tanzania from SE shore of L Victoria and Serengeti S to Wembere.

Descriptive notes

c. 32–41 cm; male 779–964 g, female 400–666 g. Differs from P. leucoscepus (marginal overlap but generally in less arid habitats) in reddish-orange... read more


Considered similar to that of P. leucoscepus, the advertising call (given mainly in pre-... read more


Inhabits plains and savannas in areas with rainfall of 500–700 mm, including edge of... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds predominantly on predominantly Cyperus (Cyperaceae) sedge tubers; also seeds and insects, e.g. grasshoppers and termites.... read more


Lays during late rains and early dry season, in Feb–Apr and Jun–Jul. Monogamous and territorial. Nest a depression amongst long... read more


Sedentary. Moves into open to feed only in early morning and late afternoon.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Occurs in suitable habitat throughout c. 77,700 km². Considered a candidate for inclusion in Red Data Book in... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Grey-breasted Francolin (Pternistis rufopictus). 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 19 January 2020).