Swainson's Spurfowl ( Pternistis swainsonii, family: Phasianidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Swainson's Francolin

Swainsons Spurfowl Kruger ParkThe Swainson's Spurfowl (Latin name Pternistis swainsonii) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 199 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 74 also a picture of the Swainson's Spurfowl on page 81. The Swainson's Spurfowl belongs to the family of birds classified as Phasianidae.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Swainson's Spurfowl was called the Swainson's Francolin. The Robert's 7 Latin name for Swainson's Spurfowl has changed from Francolinus swainsonii in Robert's 6 to Pternistis swainsonii.

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

swainsons spurfowl kruger national park birds 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 Swainson's 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 Swainson's Spurfowl in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Swainson's Spurfowl : see above distribution map.

The Swainson's Spurfowl.

The Swainson's Spurfowl is a bird about the size of a small chicken used to be called a Francolin. The height of the Swainson's Spurfowl is about 38 cms and its weight is about 700 gms. The picture is of a juvenile bird.

The male and female Swainson's Spurfowl have the same plumage and colours but notice the less well developed red in the juvenile shown in the picture.

  • Head is brown.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is brown.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Swainson's Spurfowl feeds on the ground and in foliage mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Swainson's Spurfowl is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Pternistis swainsonii will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Swainson's Spurfowl is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are pink in colour and number between 3 to 12

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Swainson's Spurfowl are: woodlands . The Swainson's Spurfowl is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You will normally see the Swainson's Spurfowl in flocks.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Bosveldfisant

German ... Swainsonfrankolin

Portuguese ... Francolim de Swainson

French ... Francolin de Swainson

Dutch ... Swainson-Frankolijn

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 199

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