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

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 74

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 46

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 39

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

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

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 109

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

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

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

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

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

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

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 97

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everyones Guide to South African Birds - Author: John Sinclair and John Mendelsohn - Published: 1987 - Page: 29

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 43

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

Gamebirds and Waterfowl of Southern Africa - Author: CG Finch-Davies, Dr Alan Kemp - Published: 1986 - Page: 109

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

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

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

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

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

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 91

BirdLife South Africa


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List of South African Birds

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