Hartlaub's Francolin

Introduction: Hartlaub's francolin (Pternistis hartlaubi) or spurfowl, prefer a granite and sandstone habitat surrounded by semi-desert steppe. A 'boulder outcrop forced habitat' is evidence of the presence of the larger and more aggressive red-billed spurfowl that take over nearby savannahs. They are found in pairs or small groups and are frequent flyers. These spurfowl seek refuge between large rocks where they also seek shelter and roost.

Distribution: Scattered populations can be found in central and northern Namibia in particular along the escarpment from Windhoek to the Kunene River and east to Grootfontein. They are absent from the open plains of Ovamboland.

Diet: Mainly feeds on corns, bulbs, seeds and fruits by scraping them out with their large bills. They also eat insects, grubs and larvae, beetles and land molluscs.

Description: Pternistis are medium-sized gamebirds with black, red or orange legs. Both male and female are alike in colours and markings and reside in bush habitats. They are frequent tree roosters and can be seen in small to large coveys. Their calls are loud and grating. Pternistis is the Greek word for 'one who trips with the heel' referring to the double spurs (projections) of females.

Breeding: Usually 3 eggs are laid between April and August with an incubation period of 23 days.

Size: 25 to 28cm.

Weight: 270g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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