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Natal Spurfowl | Pternistis natalensis

The Natal Spurfowl is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Phasianidae bird family group which includes birds such as Francolins, Spurfowls, Quails.

The description for the Natal Spurfowl (Latin name Pternistis natalensis) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Pternistis natalensis can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 196 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 72. You will find a picture of the Natal Spurfowl on page 81.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Natal Francolin in the Roberts 6th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Francolinus natalensis in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Natal Spurfowl is known in Afrikaans as Natalse Fisant.

The Natal Spurfowl is near Endemic to the Southern African Region which means it is mainly found in this region but is not restricted here alone. The Pternistis natalensis can be found in other parts of the world.

The Natal Spurfowl has a height of 38 cms and weighs around 500 gms. The head is coloured while the bill is coloured green. The Pternistis natalensis has a black, white coloured throat, orange legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black

Eyes are brown

Bill is green

Legs are orange

Throat is black, white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Natal Spurfowl is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

The Pternistis natalensis forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Natal Spurfowl is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 7 eggs and they are coloured cream.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The Natal Spurfowl is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Natal Spurfowl is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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