Grey Junglefowl

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

Sonnerat's Junglefowl

Native Habitat



Grains, Shoots and tubers, Berries, Termites, Other insects


Grey Junglefowl

Gallus sonneratii

The Grey junglefowl, also known as Sonnerat's junglefowl, is one of the wild ancestors of domestic fowl together with the red junglefowl and other junglefowls. The Grey junglefowl is responsible for the yellow pigment in the legs and different body parts of all the domesticated chicken.

This species is endemic to India, and even today it is found mainly in peninsular India and towards the northern boundary. It sometimes hybridize in the wild with red junglefowl. They also hybridize readily in captivity and sometimes with free-range domestic fowl kept in habitations close to forests.

The male has a black cape with ochre spots and the body plumage on a grey ground colour is finely patterned. The elongated neck feathers are dark and end in a small, hard, yellowish plate. The male has red wattles and combs but not as strongly developed as in the red junglefowl. Legs of males are red and have spurs while the yellow legs of females usually lack spurs. The central tail feathers are long and sickle shaped. Males have an eclipse plumage in which they moult their colourful neck feathers in summer during or after the breeding season. The female is duller and has black and white streaking on the underparts and yellow legs.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    ধূসর বনমোরগ
  • Bhojpuri:
    मटियाहूँ जंगली मुर्गा
  • Gujarati:
    જંગલી મુરઘો, રૂપેરી જંગલી કૂકડો
  • Kannada:
  • Malayalam:
    ചാര കാട്ടുകോഴി
  • Marathi:
  • Tamil:
    வெள்ளைக் கானாங்கோழி
Media Gallery

Gallus sonneratii