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Swainson's Francolin - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Leon
Pilansberg, South Africa, January 2004

Alternative name: Swainson's Spurfowl

Pternistis swainsonii

Francolinus swainsonii


Photo © by mikemik
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, May 2018

Male 38 cm (15 in), female 33 cm (13 in)

Similar Species

Red-necked Francolin


Western, Eastern and Southern Africa:
Westrn Africa: Angola
Eastern Africa: Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Swaziland


Formerly placed in genus Francolinus.


Pternistis swainsonii has two subspecies[1]:


Woodlands, brushlands and farmlands. Preferring dense grassland near grain fields; never far from water.



They have a varied diet, consisting of bulbs, tubers and roots, seeds, berries and grass; with the addition of some spiders and insects, including locusts, ticks and beetles.


The breeding season is related to the rainfall.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2018)

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