The handsome francolin (Pternistis nobilis) is a large, up to 35 cm long, terrestrial forest francolin with a dark reddish brown plumage, grey head, red bill and legs, brown iris, bare red orbital skin and rufous grey below. Both sexes are similar. The female is slightly smaller than male. The young has duller plumage.
The handsome francolin is distributed in mountain forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, southwest Uganda and borders between Burundi and Rwanda. It is a shy and elusive bird, more often heard than seen. The diet consists mainly of seeds.
Status and Conservation
Although locally common across much of its range, and evaluated as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, recent surveys for the species in prime habitat in southwestern Uganda detected its presence at only 1 in 10 survey points. The research concluded that a reanalysis of the status of the handsome francolin could be justified in the light of its apparent strong preference for montane bamboo forest, which is a rare and patchy habitat.
- BirdLife International (2006). Francolinus nobilis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
- Ssemmanda R, Fuller RA (2005). "Assessing the status of Handsome Francolin Francolinus nobilis in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, western Uganda.". Scopus 25: 41–50. PDF