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Moorland Francolin - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Mike Barth
Ethiopia, September 2016
Scleroptila psilolaema


32–35 cm (12½-13¾ in)

  • Brownish upperparts
  • Buff throat with fine spots
  • Light buff stripes on head
  • Buff underparts
  • Black spots over upper breast
  • Chestnut spots on belly
  • Barred flanks
  • Reddish wings
  • Black bars at tips of primaries


Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.


Formerly placed in genus Francolinus.


There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • S. p. psilolaema:
  • Montane moorlands of central and southern Ethiopia
  • S. p. elgonensis:


They live on montane moorlands with heather and grass, generally above 2400 m.



There is little information. They forage in damp grassy areas, around pools and are thought to eat bulbs and roots.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Birds of the Horn of Africa
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Aug 2018)

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