Grey FrancolinThe Grey Francolin or Grey Partridge Francolinus pondicerianus is a species of partridge found in the plains and drier parts of South Asia. They are locally called Teetar after their call which is a loud repeated Ka-tee-tar - tee-tar although teetar means bird in the general sense in Urdu and related languages. Paired birds routinely engage in duet calls.
They are hunted in much of their range using low nets and decoy birds. Males have up to two tarsal spurs which are usually absent in the female. The northwestern population mekranensis is the greyest and the nominate race in the peninsula has dark rufous throat, supercilium and has more brown colouration. Adults have a thin necklace around the pale throat. In flight it always has a chestnut tail and dark primaries.
The main breeding season is April to September and the nest is a hidden scrape on the ground. The species has long been domesticated in areas of northern India/Pakistan/Kashmir where it is used for cock-fighting. The domesticated birds can be huge at around 500-600g, compared to 250g for wild birds. They are usually carefully reared by hand and are as tame and confiding as any household dog.
Much folklore and tradition surrounds the domesticated birds but they are usually known as rahni or a-rahni with the small, wild birds being known as sindi. The species as a whole is locally known as the white bird/partridge - usually "goura teetar" in Urdu and related languages. The variation in colour of the wild birds is also seen in the domesticated birds with the pale versions being known as golden or yellow - peelah.
Naming of the domesticated birds is complicated by tradition and confusion within emigrant Pakistani/Indian communities. They have been introduced to Hawaii, along with several other species of francolin.
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