Family Pheasants, Partridges, Turkeys, Grouse (Phasianidae)


Swierstra’s Francolin (Pternistis swierstrai)


French: Francolin de Swierstra German: Swierstrafrankolin Spanish: Francolín de Swierstra
Other common names: Swierstra's Spurfowl

Chaetopus swierstrai


, 1929,

Mombolo, south-west Cuanza Sul, Angola


Has been separated in genus Oreocolinus. Thought to be close to P. camerunensis. Name Francolinus (Pternistis) cruzi is a synonym of present species. Monotypic.


W Angola from Cuanza Sul District (Cariango) S to Huambo District (Bailundu highlands and Mombolo Plateau) and Huíla District (Chela escarpment and Tundavala).

Descriptive notes

c. 33 cm; 375–565 g. Diagnostic broad black band on breast; crown and nape blackish brown, as well as eyestripe and lores, with broad white supercilium joining almost... read more


Poorly known. Alarm call reportedly a shrill, harsh cry, reminiscent of P. jacksoni, while... read more


Montane evergreen forest and forest edge, boulder-strewn mountainsides, and tall grass on... read more

Food and feeding

Grasses, legume seeds and insects, picked from amongst leaf litter. Keeps within dense undergrowth of bushes, shrubs, grasses and large... read more


Virtually unknown; believed to breed May–Jul, based on gonadal development of specimens, and has been suggested that overall season... read more



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. CITES II. Previously considered Vulnerable. Population estimated at 1000–2500 mature individuals, of which c. 75 pairs occur on Mt Moco. No records between... read more

Recommended citation

McGowan, P.J.K., Kirwan, G.M. & de Juana, E. (2019). Swierstra’s Francolin (Pternistis swierstrai). 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 10 December 2019).