Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Jackson’s Francolin (Pternistis jacksoni)


French: Francolin de Jackson German: Jacksonfrankolin Spanish: Francolín de Jackson
Other common names: Jackson's Spurfowl

Francolinus jacksoni


, 1891,

Kikuyu, Kenya


Has been separated in genus Oreocolinus. Thought to be closest to P. nobilis, P. castaneicollis, P. erckelii and P. ochropectus; has been considered close also to P. camerunensis. Birds of Mt Kenya have been ascribed to race pollenorum, generally much darker below (white edging on underpart feathers clearly narrower) than others of the species; possibly worthy of recognition. Population of Mau escarpment and lower Aberdares described as race gurae and that of Cherangani Hills as patriciae, but neither of these regarded as in any way distinct. Treated as monotypic.


Mountains of WC Kenya (Mt Elgon, Cherangani Hills, Mau Plateau, Aberdares and Mt Kenya); one record from Ugandan side of Mt Elgon.

Descriptive notes

c. 38–48 cm; two males 1064 g and 1130 g. Differs from P. castaneicollis (no known overlap) in more regularly patterned underparts and little or no blackish... read more


Advertising call is a very loud and high-pitched series of cackling “grrr” notes,... read more


Montane forest and various habitats in alpine zone from 2200 m to 3700 m, including juniper and... read more

Food and feeding

Bulbous roots and grass shoots, berries when available and small snails and insects; seeds in patches of dying bamboo. Forages in pairs or... read more


Lays Dec–Jan in Aberdare Range and on Mt Kenya; Jan–Feb, Aug, Oct and Dec in Mau Highlands; in high, wet ranges, may breed only... read more


Sedentary. Moves into open areas to dry plumage and dust bathe during suitable weather. Difficult... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Occurs in suitable habitat (estimated at 16,500 km²) throughout c. 50,000–60,000 km². Considered a... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Jackson’s Francolin (Pternistis jacksoni). 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 April 2020).