Crested Francolin (Francolinus sephaena)
Crested Francolins are a medium-sized, 12" (30cm) bird, but small, by Francolin standards. It has a long white supercilium (eyebrow) and black moustachial stripes, with a dark-brown crown (after which it is named), which is only erect when alarmed.
Its neck is rufous, with streaked white spots. Its belly is brownish-white and upperparts are more brown, with streaks of white. Females have more strongly barred upperparts.
Crested Francolins pair for life and are often seen in family groups, named 'coveys'. They feed early in the morning and later in the day, when it is cooler. As is typical of Francolins, if they are frightened, they skulk in long grass or thick bushes. If further threatened, they reluctantly fly, very noisily, whirling their small wings. They are fast runners and prefer to escape on foot, with crest and tail erect.
Crested Francolins eat both insects and vegetable matter - seeds, grass, tubers and ripe fruits. Often seen scratching at the ground, like a domestic chicken.
Crested Francolins are normally seen in dry bushy areas, often feeding in long grass. Seen all over Kenya, below 1,500 metres, except for very arid areas or around the Lake Victoria basin.
Extra Crested Francolins Facts
Crested Francolins are still considered to be game birds, outside National Reserves.
Photographed in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.
Keywords:bird, crested francolin, francolin, kenya, wildlife