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Natal Francolin - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Natal Spurfowl

Photo by leon
Pilansberg, South Africa
Pternistis natalensis

Identification

Length 30-38 cm, mass 322-723 g, males larger than females.

Adult: Overall brown, patterned with cream and black. Bill red with yellow base, and legs and feet orange. This is the only spurfowl in its range without bare facial skin.

Distribution

Juvenile
Photo by Andy Hurley
Chobe Elephant Park, Botswana, June 2015

Southern Africa between 13°S and 32°S, and between 24°E and 34 °E: north-eastern South Africa, Swaziland, the western edge of southern Mozambique, west-central Mozambique, eastern Botswana, Zimbabwe, and southern Zambia.

Taxonomy

Three subspecies have been recognised, but the geographical variation is limited and clinal; several authorities regard the species as monotypic.
Formerly placed in genus Francolinus.

Habitat

Dense thickets along watercourses, on hillsides and mountains, and in Acacia bushveld; coastal dune forest, edge of evergreen forest; often in rocky terrain.

Behaviour

Found singly or in groups of up to ten. Forages on the ground, usually under cover, in the early morning and late afternoon. Diet includes Molluscs, insects, roots, bulbs, fruit, seeds.

Breeding: Monogamous and solitary. The nest is a shallow scrape in the ground lined with grass, concealed in thick cover. Two to seven eggs are laid at any time of the year, peaking December to May in the south.

References

Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ & Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Robert's Birds of Southern Africa, 7th edition. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa. ISBN 0620340533

External Links

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