Orange River Francolin

Orange River Francolin (Scleroptila gutturalis) are medium-sized gamebirds that are found grasslands like open savannas, and occasionally woodland areas in Africa. Orange River Francolin appears similar to the Red-winged Francolin in plumage and can be distinguished by its smaller stature. The thick, black to gray beak is almost the same length as its face and hooks down slightly. Their plumage is beautifully simple, with a rusty or tan breast and light brown spotted back. The Orange River Francolin’s legs are relatively short and yellow with wide-splaying feet. There are slight differences between the northern and southern taxa, as the northern individual’s black neck-line does not extend to the eye and displays a whiter belly. The southern individuals have a buff belly with a black neck-line that extends to the eyes. These different characteristics have led some ornithologists to the conclusion that these are separate species; others do not agree with this and continue to treat them as the same species. These wonderful gamebirds are hunted with pointing dog breeds in South Africa.