Fun Crested Francolin Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 31, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 19, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Crested Francolin Fact File
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

The crested francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) is a bird of the Galliformes order, family Phasianidae. It is also known as Francolinus sephaena with a scientific name of by Ortygornis sephaena. Kirk's francolin, D.S. rovuma, D.S. sephaena (Smith, A, 1836), D.S. grantii, and D.S. spilogaster are a few common references of their subspecies that are also used these days to refer to their subspecies.

Crested francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) species are ground birds, and you can commonly see them on the roadsides, mainly in southern Africa. It is common for the D. sephaena, crested francolin birds, to live together in a family of two to seven birds. They live in large swamp-like areas with their habitat list consisting of bushes, woodlands, and thickets in Africa. These species typically feed on insects and other invertebrates. Whereas in winter, they search and eat various kinds of vegetation.

Continue reading to know more awesome facts about this species from Africa. To know more about similar animals to the crested francolin, Dendroperdix sephaena, check the mountain chickadee and blackpoll warbler.

Crested Francolin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a crested francolin?

The crested francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) is a bird that belongs to the family Phasianidae with a common origin in Africa.

What class of animal does a crested francolin belong to?

This species of Francolinus sephaena of the Ortygornis genus belongs to the class of Aves.

How many crested francolins are there in the world?

Even though they are of the Least Concern, there is no record of their exact population. A few records state that there are around 10,000 mature individuals of this species found across the world.

Where does a crested francolin live?

The crested francolin can be found in large numbers in most of the savannahs of eastern Africa, mainly towards the southern side of the Sahara. This species of crested francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) is seen on a large scale in Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe as far as southern Africa is concerned.

What is a crested francolin's habitat?

This species of crested francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) are ground birds. Their most common and favorable habitat revolves around woodlands with a dense scrub component. These birds favor large areas with sparse ground cover, including dense bushes along rivers as their home. Inhabiting acacia and baikiaea woodlands is common for them. In some parts, this particular species can also be found settled away from water bodies.

Who do crested francolins live with?

The crested francolin lives in a family of two to seven birds, usually including the parents and their hatchlings. The males keep a watch on the nest and alert the female of any approaching threat.

How long does a crested francolin live?

This large species of crested francolins have a good lifespan, and an individual may live for about seven to eight years.

How do they reproduce?

This species of crested francolin, Dendroperdix sephaena, typically engage in a breeding season that starts during November. This breeding period is known to last up to May. These birds are considered to be monogamous. During this breeding season, the males form coalitions where the young ones join the old ones to search for their female counterparts. The females then join these coalitions and call out their partners for mating. The characteristic back plumage of the female plays a significant part in attracting the males.

You might see that this species' breeding peaks vary from region to region. The birds build their nests are hollow and on the ground, usually made with leaves and grass. The female is known to lay an average of three to seven eggs at a time. After laying the eggs, the incubation period continues for another 19-26 days before the newborns hatch their eggs. The parents take care of the crested francolin bird nestlings for two weeks, after which the hatchlings leave the nest.

What is their conservation status?

These species of Francolinus sephaena are not threatened. On the world scale, their conservation status as per the Birdlife International standards is marked of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Crested Francolin Fun Facts

What do crested francolins look like?

The crested francolin is a dark brown bird with a white elongated stripe-like pattern on its body. On the neck, however, pearl-like patterns give the bird a white throat. Its belly is fainter than the rest of its body. They have a small tail that they cock very often; this tail is different amongst their subspecies. The female and the crested francolin juvenile have a slightly different physical description than the male as they have a paler color. Also, it's only the male that has the spur on its legs.

The white eye stripe that contrasts with the dark crown makes the bird starkly distinct from its subspecies. They have black beady eyes and a dark beak that has a slight hook at its tip. The patterns on these birds are concentrated near the neck and grow longer as they reach the rest of the body.

Crested Francolin

How cute are they?

While they may not be as colorful as macaws, their white throat, in contrast to their dark body, makes this bird look endearing. The pearl necklace-like pattern on its collar makes it stand out among the other birds in its family and the subspecies.

How do they communicate?

The call identification of these birds is based on eight different forms of vocalizations. You can recognize a typical crested francolin call with a repeated rhythmic short and harsh crackling sound. They use these calls to search for their mates during the breeding season. It is common for these species to make loud calls, but they are vocal at dusk.

How big is a crested francolin?

The crested francolin is a small ground bird, yet it is almost double the size of common sparrows. The average length of this species can range between 11.8-13.7 in (30-35 cm) and is triple the size of king quails.

How fast can a crested francolin fly?

The Francolinus sephaena has a swift flight, but it doesn't usually go far. It escapes its predators on the ground by flying into a bush or a tree.

How much does a crested francolin weigh?

An average Francolinus sephaena weighs between 0.4-0.9 lb (220-417 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The crested francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena) is found to be the nomenclature used for both sexes.

What would you call a baby crested francolin?

The newborns of all the crested francolin species and their subspecies like Kirk's francolin and D.S. rovuma are all addressed as nestlings or hatchlings.

What do they eat?

These birds are common feeders of termites, sedge bulbs, mollusks, small insects, and larvae. They are also often found eating a variety of grass, berries, and seeds.

Are they poisonous?

There are no references to this species being poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

As Dendroperdix sephaena prefers living in bushes and savannahs, seeing these species as pets is not advisable; neither can one see them domesticated in Africa.

Did you know...

Due to their physical description, many times, these birds are mistaken to be quails and vice versa. The teeter or gray francolin, for example, is often misjudged to be a quail. You can identify the difference based on their size as a quail is usually smaller when compared to the francolin.

What does francolin mean?

The word francolin originates from the term francolinuswhich is considered their genus. Francolinus is one of the partridges found chiefly in southern Asia and Africa.

Are crested francolins endangered?

The crested francolin is not among the endangered bird species in the world. Although they are ground birds, it is a matter of concern locally in Africa, where the bushes are depleting.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our northern gannet facts and flycatcher facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable crested bobwhite coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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