Pternistis hartlaubi (Hartlaub's
spurfowl, Hartlaub's francolin)
[= Francolinus hartlaubi]
Klipfisant [Afrikaans]; Hartlaub-frankolijn [Dutch]; Francolin de
Hartlaub [French]; Hartlaubfrankolin [German]; Francolim de Hartlaub
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|Hartlaub's spurfowl male (left) and
female (right), Namibia. [photo
Johann Grobbelaar ©]
||Hartlaub's spurfowl male (left) and female
(right), Namibia. [photo
Johann Grobbelaar ©]
Compared to other francolins, the Hartlaub's spurfowl has a
longer, more down-curved bill. In addition, the male can be distinguished by its
white eye stripe and dark cap and the female by the uniform reddish-brown
One of the smallest francolins in southern Africa,
averaging 270 g and 230 g in weight for male and female respectively. The Coqui
francolin is arguably lighter (260 g and 240 g respectively), but there is
overlap in weights between the two species.
Distribution and habitat
Patchily distributed through northern Namibia and
Angola. Found where there are rocky outcrops, or scattered boulders.
Distribution of Hartlaub's spurfowl in southern Africa,
based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas
Animal Demography unit, University of
Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range
from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).
Predators and parasites
Recorded as prey of the African
Mainly eats corms and tubers of small sedges, using its
bill to scrape them out of the ground. The following food items have been
recorded in its diet:
- corms and tubers of small sedges
- Nest a scrape in the ground lined with dry leaves.
- After laying 2-4 eggs, the female incubates them for
about 23 days before they hatch.
- Chicks can fly short distances at 3 days. They are
fully grown at 165 days.
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Roberts
- Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker
Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.
Sinclair, I, Hockey, P. and Tarboton, W. 2002. Sasol
Birds of Southern Africa. 3rd edition. Struik, Cape Town.