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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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List of South African Birds

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