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Grey Junglefowl - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Alok Tewari
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghat Hills, Dist. Pune, Maharashtra, India, December-2017
Gallus sonneratii


Resembles a domestic chicken. The male is up to 80cm, the female much smaller (38cm).
The male has a ochre-spotted black cape which is very distinctive. Its body is finely patterned, the wings and tail black, the latter with long and narrow central rectrices. The legs are red. In summer the rectrices are lacking, the comb and wattles are duller and the cape is replaced by brownish feathers.
The female looks similar to the Red Junglefowl but has distinctive black and white streaked underparts and a paler face.

Pair : Female in front
Photo by Alok Tewari
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, Distt. Pune, Maharashtra, India, December-2017


Endemic to peninsular India: From Gujarat and southern Rajasthan to Andhra Pradesh and south throughout the subcontinent.


This is a monotypic species[1].

Forms a superspecies with Red Junglefowl and Sri Lanka Junglefowl.

Reported local hybridization with Red Junglefowl.


May occur in all types of forest, evergreen, mixed and deciduous. Also in abandoned plantations (rubber, coffee or tea). Common in the foothills, but also up to 2400m in the Nilgiris.


Immature male
Photo by Alok Tewari
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, Distt. Pune, Maharashtra, India, December-2017

Quite shy but often seen along roadsides or crossing paths. Usually in small mixed or single-sexed groups.


Breeds throughout the year but mainly from February to May. The nest is made in a small hollow next to some cover and 4-5 eggs are laid.


Feeds on seeds (favours bamboo), tubers, berries, various insects and small reptiles.


The Grey Junglefowl is not migrating, however some seasonal movement in response of the food situation may occur.


Photo by Kshounish Sankar Ray
Nagarhole, Karnataka, India, April 2009
  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/

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