Francolins are closely related to partridge and the Hyderbadie Francolin is also known as the Grey or Gray Partridge or Francolin. Hyderbadie is also sometimes spelled Hyderabadie. However this is a different bird than the European Grey Partridge so to avoid confusion, we like to refer to these birds as Hyderbadie Francolins.
Hyderbadie Francolins are a wild species but with a long history of side by side living with people. They are native to dry and open areas in the Southern and Middle East.
These are terrific little game birds with the beautiful coloration of blue-grays and rusty golds. Hyderbadie Francolins have barred feathering over their entire body with a paler, peachy, or orange-colored face and throat. They have a darker border patch of feathering on their necks, which becomes more apparent as the birds mature. These are not flashy birds but make truly elegant additions to aviaries and bird collections.
Sexes are similar with barred plumage. Males are usually a bit larger than females and once mature, will sport spurs on their legs.
Range: The Hyderbadie Francolin has a natural range extending from Southeastern Iran and Pakistan throughout Bangladesh and India. It has also been found in the northern areas of the island of Sri Lanka. Hyderbadie Francolins have also been introduced and naturalized on other islands off the east coast of India, as well Hawaii and places like Oman. Efforts are being made to introduce them into Nevada and other areas in the southwestern United States but so far no populations have been strong enough to truly naturalize.
Habitat: Hyderbadie Francolins are birds of dry plains, grasslands, and shrublands. They seem attracted to both working and abandoned agricultural fields and are often found living near villages and houses. They are not great flyers and prefer to run to brush or cover if startled.
Status in the Wild: The Hyderbadie Francolin population in the wild currently is of Least Concern in Conservation Status.
Status in Aviculture: Hyderbadie Francolins are quite popular among avian collections in the U.S. These birds do quite well in captivity, and when bred and raised among people, they can become quite calm and tame.
Breeding: Breeding season for Hyderbadie Francolins depends on the climate and warmth, and can be anytime between April and August in most areas of the U.S. Be wary of fighting among males during the breeding season. Hyderbadie Francolins are well known for their pleasant yet loud calls, a pattern of Ka-tee-tar...tee-tar ... tee tar. Locals in their native range refer to these birds as "Teetars." The calls are much more prevalent during the breeding season.
Hens usually lay clutches of 3-9 light-colored buff eggs in ground nests. Incubation takes between 21 and 23 days. Usually, the most successful rearings are done by the birds themselves left to their natural inclinations. Chicks reared by people in brooders without their parents can be tricky. Hyderbadie Francolins are attentive and good parents and teach their tiny chicks to eat and take care of themselves. Just be sure to make the necessary and common-sense adjustments to the enclosure to ensure the chicks' safety. Close up any holes in fencing or flooring that might be large enough for the extremely small chicks to go through. Be sure water and food are of an appropriate height as well.
Lifespan: Hyderbadie Francolins, when kept in optimal conditions, can live 7 or more years.
Size: Hyderbadie Francolins are medium-sized francolins. Males average 9-12 ounces in weight, and females are a bit lighter averaging 7-11 ounces. They measure between 10 and 13.5 inches in overall length.
Housing Requirements: Providing your Hyderbadie Francolins with as much natural cover as possible will make them feel more secure and less skittish. Although they tend to nest on the ground, they like to roost in groups in higher spots like shrubs and low tree branches at night. These are highly adaptable birds and are easy to care for and quite hardy.
Diet: In the wild, the Hyderbadie Francolin will enjoy a diet of seeds and grains, often supplementing with termites, other insects, and even larger prey like snakes. In captivity, feeding a high-quality game bird feed would be very appropriate.
Miscellaneous Notes: Hyderbadie Francolins are often hunted as food in their wild ranges. Hunters will use a tame decoy in a cage to lure in others using its call.