Family New World Quails (Odontophoridae)


Nahan's Partridge (Ptilopachus nahani)


French: Poulette de Nahan German: Nahanwachtel Spanish: Gallinita de Nahan
Other common names: Nahan's Francolin, Nahan's Spurfowl

Francolinus nahani

A. J. C. Dubois

, 1905,

Popoie, Aruwimi River, DRCongo


Formerly placed in monotypic genus Acentrortyx. Subsequently returned to genus Francolinus, and later thought to belong in Pternistes#R. Recent genetic analysis revealed, surprisingly, a sister relationship between this species and P. petrosus, and hitherto unrecognized vocal and behavioural similarities between the two support the genetic data and the transfer of nahani to genus Ptilopachus#R#R. Monotypic.


NE DRCongo (area bordered by R Aruwimi, R Nepoko and R Semliki) and W & SC Uganda (forests of Budongo, Bugoma and Mabira).

Descriptive notes

23–26 cm; two males 308 g and 312 g, three females 234–260 g. Unspurred; distinctive combination of bare red skin around eyes, red base of bill, mostly white... read more


Territorial call a long series of melodious whistles, gradually increasing in volume and the notes... read more


Inhabits dense primary forest (both logged and unlogged), preferring riverine or swampy areas... read more

Food and feeding

Varied diet, including invertebrates (insects and small molluscs), shoots, seeds (e.g. of Trema orientalis and Measopsis... read more


Believed to breed year-round, but most egg-laying is between Jan and Mar and Aug to Nov (based on 60 nests), with birds in breeding... read more


Sedentary, although birds are suspected to have home ranges of at least 13 ha.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Overall population estimated at 50,000–99,999 birds, with perhaps 40,000 individuals in Uganda in the early 2000s. Presumed to be declining due to loss of... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K., de Juana, E., Boesman, P., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Nahan's Partridge (Ptilopachus nahani). 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 18 February 2020).