Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Cape Francolin (Pternistis capensis)


Taxonomy

French: Francolin criard German: Kapfrankolin Spanish: Francolín de El Cabo
Other common names: Cape Spurfowl
Taxonomy:

Tetrao capensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

.

Has been included in genus Notocolinus, which name may alternatively represent a valid subgenus for this species, P. adspersus, P. natalensis and P. hildebrandti#R. Within the francolins, present species was found to share certain syringeal characteristics only with P. natalensis#R. Monotypic.

Distribution:

S Namibia and South Africa, with small population on lower Orange R (W Northern Cape) isolated from main range of Western Cape E to SW Eastern Cape).

Introduced on Robben I, off Cape Town.

Descriptive notes

40–43 cm; male 600–915 g, female 435–659 g. Rather dark overall, with distinctive pattern of white streaks and vermiculations; only likely to be confused... read more

Voice

Male advertising call, given mainly early morning and late afternoon, is a loud crowing or cackling... read more

Habitat

Inhabits scrub vegetation including scrubby heath, fynbos, rocky outcrops and sheltered riverine... read more

Food and feeding

Bulbs and corms, seeds, berries and shoots; also small molluscs, termites, ants and other insects. Has favoured drinking sites.

Breeding

Lays Jul–Feb, with peak in Sept–Oct, late in winter rains or early in dry summer. Probably monogamous. Nest a hollow lined with... read more

Movements

Sedentary. Flies only when hard pressed, preferring to escape by running.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: safe. Occurs in suitable habitat throughout c. 222,000 km². Locally common; numbers believed to be stable. Occurs in... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Cape Francolin (Pternistis capensis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/53413 on 22 September 2017).