The Francolins are brightly-coloured birds, three species of which are represented within our limits and have a wide distribution. They are easily recognised by the rufous bars which are to be found on both webs of the quills of the wing, and by the black tail, more or less barred with white. The tail is short and rounded, composed of 14 feathers. The male has usually one spur on each leg, sometimes two. The female is not furnished with a spur. The sexes differ in coloration, but not very greatly.
The species of Francolin are very numerous, and more than forty are enumerated in the " Catalogue." In that work, however, the Grey Partridges are united with the Francolins. These two groups are, no doubt, generally similar in structure, but they differ so greatly in general style of plumage that I prefer to keep them separate. In fact, I have found it impossible to find any characters of plumage common to both the Francolins and the Grey Partridges of India. By keeping them apart, however, the two groups are easily defined.