Natal Spurfowl ( Pternistis natalensis, family: Phasianidae)
Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Natal Francolin
The Natal Spurfowl (Latin name Pternistis natalensis) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 196 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 72 also a picture of the Natal Spurfowl on page 81. The Natal Spurfowl belongs to the family of birds classified as Phasianidae.
In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Natal Spurfowl was called the Natal Francolin. The Robert's 7 Latin name for Natal Spurfowl has changed from Francolinus natalensis in Robert's 6 to Pternistis natalensis.
The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps
Near endemic species is one that is confined to a specific geographical region rather than a single country for example. Certain birds in The Kruger National Park are near endemic to Mozambique, and Zimbabwe for example. One such example is the Natal Spurfowl and this species depends upon a certain type of habitat for survival. Destroy that habitat and the bird becomes endangered.
In terms of distribution of the Natal Spurfowl in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Natal Spurfowl : see above distribution map.
The Natal Spurfowl is found in woody areas and hilly areas and likes river bank regions..
The Natal Spurfowl is a bird about the size of a Francolin now called Spurfowl. The height of the Natal Spurfowl is about 38 cms and its weight is about 500 gms. Notice on this photo the "spur" from which the bird gets its name.
The male and female Natal Spurfowl have the same plumage and colours
- Head is .
- Eye is brown.
- Bill is green.
- Throat is black, white.
- Back is brown.
- Legs are orange.
This bird has normally proportioned leg length.
Main diet items for this bird ...
The Natal Spurfowl feeds on the ground and in foliage mainly on ..
Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...
The Natal Spurfowl is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Pternistis natalensis will seek out a new mate
The nesting habit of Natal Spurfowl is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are cream in colour and number between 2 to 7
Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...
The preferred habitats for Natal Spurfowl are: woodlands, river areas and hilly regions.
You will normally see the Natal Spurfowl by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.
Names of this avian species in other languages ...
Xhosa ... Unknown
Zulu ... isiKhwehle
Afrikaans ...Natalse Fisant
German ... Natalfrankolin
Portuguese ... Francolim do Natal
French ... Francolin du Natal
Dutch ... Natal-Frankolijn
For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...
Robert's 7th edition number ... 196
The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za