Buff-spotted Flufftail ( Sarothrura elegans, family: Rallidae)

buff spotted flufftail kruger national park birds The Buff-spotted Flufftail (Latin name Sarothrura elegans) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 218 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 315 also a picture of the Buff-spotted Flufftail on page 320. The Buff-spotted Flufftail belongs to the family of birds classified as Rallidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Buff-spotted Flufftail is also known by these other names: Buff-spotted Crake, Buff-spotted Pygmy Crake, Buff-spotted Pygmy Rail.

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

The Buff-spotted Flufftail is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Buff-spotted Flufftail in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Buff-spotted Flufftail : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Buff-spotted Flufftail is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Buff-spotted Flufftail is about 17 cms and its weight is about 45 gms

You will find that the male Buff-spotted Flufftail plumage and colours are different to that of the female Buff-spotted Flufftail

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

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Buff-spotted Flufftail feeds on the ground mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Buff-spotted Flufftail is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Sarothrura elegans will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Buff-spotted Flufftail is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 3 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Buff-spotted Flufftail are: forests and heavily treed regions

You can expect to see Buff-spotted Flufftail in flocks, or pairs or as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Gevlekte Vleikuiken

German ... Schmuckzwergralle

Portuguese ... Frango-d'gua-elegante

French ... Rle ponctu

Dutch ... Bruinvlekral

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 218

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