Cape Spurfowl

Pternistis capensis

Cape Spurfowl, also known as Cape Francolin, inhabits areas of fynbos, heathland and semi-arid scrub, usually near a reliable water source, and also utilises nearby orchards, vineyards, cultivated fields, pastures and suburban parks and gardens. It has an omnivorous diet, feeding primarily on seeds, fallen fruits and berries and a wide variety of invertebrates. Male Cape Spurfowl are quite a bit bigger than the females and may weigh up to a kilogram.

The breeding season for Cape Spurfowl commences in early spring but stretches right through to the end of summer. The nest is a simple scrape in the ground, hidden among vegetation, in which the female incubates a clutch of 1-4 eggs for around 3 weeks. Larger clutches of up to 14 eggs have been recorded, but are thought to be of multiple females laying in the same nest.

The Cape Spurfowl’s distribution is mainly centred on South Africa’s Western Cape Province, extending into adjacent areas of the Eastern and Northern Cape, and reaching southern Namibia along the course of the Orange River. With a common and stable population, the IUCN considers the Cape Spurfowl to be of least concern.

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10 thoughts on “Cape Spurfowl

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      That’s quite right, John. The male and female’s plumage is exactly the same, but when they are together you can easily see that the rooster is much bigger than the hen. The male also has a sharp, thick spur at the back of the legs, just above the toes, but this isn’t always obvious (if you look carefully at some of the pics you might notice it)

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