Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Grey Junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii)


French: Coq de Sonnerat German: Sonnerathuhn Spanish: Gallo gris

Gallus Sonneratii


, 1813,



Although molecular study of Asian Phasianidae found that genera Coturnix, Gallus and Bambusicola form a subclade (see genus heading)#R, present species was not sampled directly. Closely related to G. gallus and G. lafayettii; hybridizes locally with G. gallus in areas of contact. Varies clinally, birds darkest in SW of range and becoming gradually paler to SE, NE & N; form wangyeli (described from Mt Abu, in S Rajasthan) thought to represent pale extreme of cline, although possible vocal difference between Mt Abu population and those in SW of range (Kerala) reported#R. Treated as monotypic.


Peninsular India S from Gujarat, S Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and mouth of R Godavari, in E Andhra Pradesh.

Descriptive notes

Male 70–80 cm, 790–1136 g; female c. 38 cm, 705–790 g. Male generally much greyer than congeners, with rather small comb and hackles, and very distinctive... read more


Most vocal during breeding season. Advertising male’s crowing is a loud, staccato and... read more


Affects understorey, including bamboo, and scrubby parts of evergreen, mixed and deciduous forest,... read more

Food and feeding

Diverse diet, including seeds of bamboo and Strobilanthes among others, shoots of grass and crops, tubers, figs and berries of... read more


May breed more or less throughout year; most records in Feb–Mar; in W Nilgiris, probably Oct–Dec; in Travancore, Mar–Jul... read more


No movements described; some may occur in response to seasonal availability or abundance of local... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: vulnerable. CITES II. Formerly considered Near Threatened. Little information on status despite extensive distribution.... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Grey Junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii). 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 9 December 2019).