Crested Francolin

Introduction: A subspecies of the crested francolin (Dendroperdix sephaena sephaena),one of 3 species in the southern African region, are found in Namibia. They have a characteristic raucous and grating call and favour a habitat of thicket and woodland that combines sparse ground cover in thornveld and bush bordering savannah areas. In drier regions, they are often found in the vicinity of Coqui francolin. To escape the heat of the day, pairs and coveys head to dense undergrowth where they make their presence known by scuttling around fallen leaves. Noisy mainly in the early morning, but less obvious as the sun sets.

Distribution: Northern Namibia including Etosha National Park, Epupa Falls and the Caprivi.

Diet: In winter they will feed on corns and bulbs, green shoots and leaves, fruits and berries. Their summer diet consists of insects and large herbivore droppings.

Description: Males and females have a slightly different plumage colouration. The crested francolin are a tree partridge and are distinctive from other francolins, sporting a cocked tail. Dendroperdix refers to their habit of roosting in trees, mainly to avoid predators. They will run rather than fly when disturbed.

Breeding: Females lay between 3 and 7 eggs in a nest scrape between March and May. Both male and female tend the young who leave the nest as soon as 2hr after hatching.

Size: 30 to 35cm.

Weight: 380g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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