Swainson's Spurfowl

Scientific Name:
Pternistis swainsonii
Sub-Saharan Africa
Book your Birdwatching Tour

About the Swainson's Spurfowl

Swainson's Spurfowl (Pternistis swainsonii), also known as Swainson's Francolin, is a species of bird in the Phasianidae family, native to southern Africa.


Swainson's Spurfowl typically inhabit a variety of habitats, including savannas, grasslands, scrublands, and woodlands. They prefer areas with dense vegetation, such as thickets, bushveld, and riverine habitats, where they can find cover and forage for food. These spurfowls are commonly found in both natural and human-modified landscapes, including agricultural areas, game reserves, and suburban gardens.


Swainson's Spurfowl are medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 28 to 34 centimeters (11 to 13 inches) in length, including their relatively long tail. They have a plump body, short wings, and legs adapted for walking and running on the ground. Their plumage is predominantly brown or grayish-brown, with fine barring and streaking on the feathers, providing camouflage in their habitat. Best Viewing The best places to view Swainson's Spurfowl are in habitats with suitable cover and food sources. Look for them in dense vegetation, such as thickets, shrubs, and grassy areas, where they can be seen foraging for seeds, fruits, insects, and other invertebrates. These spurfowls are often observed feeding on the ground, scratching and pecking at the soil with their strong bills.