Wildlife in Italy: Francolino di monte Bonasa bonasia rupestris

Wildlife in Italy: Francolino di monte Bonasa bonasia rupestris

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Galliformes
Family: grouse
Kind: Bonasa
Species: bonasia
Italian subspecies: Bonasa bonasia rupestris

Chorology: Boreoalpine eurosibirica.
The Francolino di monte is a sedentary species that lives in northern Eurasia and in central and eastern Europe; in Italy it is present in the Alps. The Italian population is estimated at around 5,000-6,000 couples. Polytypic species widespread with 4 subspecies in the mountainous areas of Eurasia, the mountain francolin in the Alps (from 600 to 1700 meters above sea level) is sedentary and nests the subspecies rupestris.

Francolino di monte - Bonasa bonasia rupestris L. (photo

Francolino di monte - Bonasa bonasia rupestris L.

Distinctive characters

Total length: 34 - 37 cm
Wingspan: 48 - 54 cm
Average weight: 315 - 490 grams

It is the smallest of the four Italian Tetraonidae species, characterized by the cryptic coloring with gray, white, brown and black tones, very similar to the undergrowth.
The males have a characteristic white feather collar that delimits an evident black feather spot starting from the forehead and around the beak, laterally on the cheeks and at the base of the neck. Both sexes have a tuft of erectile feathers on the vertex which however appear more evident in the male. The caruncles, particularly marked above the male's eyes in spring, are greatly reduced and are not noticeable in the female.


In winter it feeds on needles and twigs, in spring on buds and flowers, in summer on fruits, berries, insects, spiders, worms and molluscs. The Francolin is a very reserved species that thanks to a very fine hearing can anticipate the dangers, moving away in the woods long before being seen. It is a mainly arboreal species, which spends a lot of time on plants.
The couple is already formed in winter but the spawning (7-11 eggs; one brood per year) occurs from April to July. The hatching lasts 23-27 days; the independence of the young is reached after 60-70 days.
He lives about 7 years in freedom.

Video: Il Francolino di. (May 2022).