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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.


References and further reading

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

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

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

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 - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 138

List of South African Birds

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