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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Swainson's Spurfowl / Francolin

Afrikaans name: Bosveldfisant

Swainson's Spurfowl

Above - Swainson's Spurfowl with chicks

Photo © Steven Herbert

Pternistis swainsonii

Swainson’s Spurfowl used to be known as Swainson’s Francolin. Spurfowl and Francolin’s are usually quite nervous birds but some, like the Swainson’s Spurfowl, become quite tame in game reserves such as Kruger National Park.

These birds spend most of their time on the ground but they roost in trees. They may be seen singly, in pairs or small flocks.

Swainson’s Spurfowl feed off a variety of things found on the ground. These include seeds, insects, berries, bulbs and roots.

Male Swainson’s Spurfowl grow to a length of around 38 cm and females to about 33 cm. Males weigh around 700 grams and females 500 grams.

The nest is made in a depression on the ground. It is lined with dry grass. Up to 12 eggs may be laid.

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References and further reading

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 89

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1959 - Page: 159

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 159

Animals of the Kruger National Park - Author: G. de Graaff - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 71

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 58

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 27

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 70

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 23

Everyone's Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 29

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 74

Ian Sinclair's Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Year Published: 1988 - Page: 94

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 1984 - Page: 144

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 144

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Year Published: 1949 - Page: 74

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 123

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Year Published: 1981 - Page: 131

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 178

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 174

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 132

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 138

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 62

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 70

List of South African Birds

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