Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)

Least Concern

Double-spurred Francolin (Pternistis bicalcaratus)


French: Francolin à double éperon German: Doppelspornfrankolin Spanish: Francolín biespolado
Other common names: Double-spurred Spurfowl

Tetrao bicalcaratus


, 1766,



Has been included in genus Chaetopus. This species is possibly closest to P. icterorhynchus, P. clappertoni and P. harwoodi. Geographical variation partly clinal, darkest individuals in wetter biotopes#R, and some individual variation also noted; proposed races thornei (Sierra Leone to Ivory Coast) and adamauae (N Cameroon) included in nominate, and molunduensis (S Cameroon) in ogilviegranti. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. b. ayesha (E. J. O. Hartert, 1917) – W Morocco from Rabat S to Mogador.
  • P. b. bicalcaratus (Linnaeus, 1766) – S Mauritania and Senegambia E to SW Chad and S to N Cameroon.
  • P. b. ogilviegranti (Bannerman, 1922) – S Nigeria and S Cameroon.
  • Descriptive notes

    30–34 cm; male c. 507 g, female c. 381 g; wingspan 45–50 cm. No other francolin occurs in Africa N of Sahara; in Morocco present species might only be confused... read more


    Advertising call, given from low perch (tree, rock or termite mound) and usually at dawn, perhaps... read more


    Wide variety of open habitats from moist savanna to arid savanna and from Cistus heath to... read more

    Food and feeding

    In W Africa is opportunist, diet varying somewhat with habitat and apparently with season, with rhizomes and tubers predominating in dry... read more


    Lays in all months according to locality; mid Feb–Jun (mainly Mar–Apr) in Morocco (ayesha); in Senegambia and E of... read more


    Sedentary. Active in early morning and late afternoon, moving into shade during hottest part of day... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Mace Lande: bicalcaratus safe; ayesha critically endangered. Nominate bicalcaratus considered commonest W... read more

    Recommended citation

    McGowan, P.J.K. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Double-spurred Francolin (Pternistis bicalcaratus). 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 on 12 December 2019).