Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Red-winged Francolin (Scleroptila levaillantii)


French: Francolin de Levaillant German: Rotflügelfrankolin Spanish: Francolín alirrojo

Perdix Levaillantii


, 1825,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


Closely related to S. streptophora, S. afra and S. finschi. Race crawshayi often synonymized with nominate, but appears sufficiently distinct#R. Proposed race momboloensis (Angola and W Zambia) here included within kikuyuensis, but might be valid#R; name benguellensis invalid, replaced by momboloensis. Proposed races, clayi (Zambia), muleme and adolffriederici, subsumed within kikuyuensis. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. l. kikuyuensis (Ogilvie-Grant, 1897) – Angola, W Zambia and E DRCongo E to WC Kenya.
  • S. l. crawshayi (Ogilvie-Grant, 1896) – highlands of NE Zambia and N Malawi.
  • S. l. levaillantii (Valenciennes, 1825) – E & S South Africa (S in coastal highlands to Eastern Cape and SE Western Cape); also W Swaziland.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 33–38 cm; male 359–567 g, female 354–515 g. Differs from other red-winged francolins by ochre band on sides of throat and broad black and white gorget,... read more


    Male advertising call, given from ground, is a series of c. 5 high-pitched, piping whistles, a... read more


    Moist montane and upland grasslands, at 1800–3000 m in Kenya, preferring steep-sided valleys... read more

    Food and feeding

    Predominantly bulbs and corms, especially of Amaryllidaceae and Iridaceae; small amounts of plant material taken from above ground; rest of... read more


    Lays in all months in S of range, Mar–Jul in E Cape Province, Aug–Feb in Natal, virtually every month in Zambia (no records in... read more


    Sedentary. Flies fair distances, but only when hard-pressed; is a good runner.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Occurs in suitable habitat throughout area of c. 830,000 km². Distribution is extremely patchy. Generally... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Red-winged Francolin (Scleroptila levaillantii). 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 10 December 2019).