The only spurfowl in southern Africa with red bill, red
around the eyes, red throat and red legs.
Swainson's spurfowl is similar in that it has red around the eyes and red
throat but differs in having a black bill and blackish-brownish legs. The black
streaking on the flanks against a silvery/grey/white background is also
distinctive. This is a wide-ranging species with extensive variation in plumage
patterning and colouration but the distinguishing characters mentioned above
hold for all forms.
Male and female plumage similar. The male can be
distinguished by have 1-2 long, sharp leg spurs.
Distribution and habitat
Occurs from Grootvadersbos (east of Swellendam in the
Western Cape), up through the Eastern Cape, inland regions of KwaZulu-Natal,
Mpumalanga, southern Limpopo Province, Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe. Beyond southern Africa it
occurs in parts of East Africa, Central Africa and over most of Angola. Found
where there is dense cover such as along forest and river edges.
No records but would be vulnerable to birds-of-prey and
small mammalian carnivores. Blood and nematode parasites have been found in
other francolin species.
Mainly eats invertebrates in summer and plant matter in
winter, doing most of its foraging by digging and gleaning in the early morning
and evening. The following food items have been recorded in its diet: