Pternistis swainsonii (Swainson's
spurfowl, Swainson's francolin)
Bosveldfisant [Afrikaans]; Khoale (generic term for francolins
and spurfowls) [South Sotho]; Gwari, Gwarimutondo, Horwe [Shona]; Intsendzele
[Swazi]; Nghwari ya xidhaka [Tsonga]; Kgwalę, Sogonokę [Tswana];
Swainson-frankolijn [Dutch]; Francolin de Swainson [French]; Swainsonfrankolin
[German]; Francolim de Swainson [Portuguese]
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(birds) > Order: Galliformes >
Family: Phasianidae Identification
Distinguished from other spurfowl by the combination of red
face, red throat, black upper bill and black legs. Male and female have similar
plumage but the male can be distinguished by having long leg spurs.
Distribution and habitat
Occurs from southern Angola and Zambia to northern Namibia,
northern and eastern Botswana, Zimbabwe, western Mozambique and north-eastern
South Africa. It generally prefers grasslands or open savannas
and adapts easily to cultivated, disturbed areas.
Distribution of Swainson's spurfowl in southern Africa,
based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas
, University of
Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range
from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common).
Animal Demography unit
for the latest distribution
from the SABAP2. See here Call
Click for call
Recorded by S. Wolf, Suikerbosrand Nature
[© Transvaal Museum]
Predators and parasites
Aegyptianella microfilariae (nematodes)
Mainly eats plant matter in winter supplemented with
insects in summer, doing most of its foraging by digging and gleaning. The
following food items have been recorded in its diet:
Nest a scrape in the ground lined with grass and
leaves, hidden among vegetation.
Egg-laying season is year-round, peaking
from February to May.
After laying 3-12 eggs, the female incubates them for
21-24 days before they hatch.
Chicks are able to fly short distances after 10-14 days
and are near adults size after 3 months.
Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG (eds) 2005.
- 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.
Birds of Southern Africa. 3rd edition. Struik, Cape Town.