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Barry Bath

Contributor

Barry grew up in Johannesburg and knew from a young age that he had a true love for the African bush yet it was only after spending several years in the corporate world in Europe, followed by a two year sabbatical of traveling ...

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19 Comments

on What is the Difference between Francolins and Spurfowls?

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Doug Hammerich
Digital Tracker

I always enjoy the photos and info about bird life in Londaolozi. Thank you!

Barry Bath
Contributor

Thanks Doug, glad you enjoyed it!

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

Me too !!!

Christa Blessing
Master Tracker

Thanks, Barry, for this great article on Francolins and Spurfowls. It is really sometimes quite confusing to decide who’s who, when they run frantically in front of the car and it is fun to hear them complain noisily about all these disturbances by us humans.

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Christa, they are indeed quite confusing especially when running right in front of the vehicle!

Valmai Vorster
Master Tracker

Hi Barry, we have the Natal Spur fowl by us here in Kranspoort, they walk all over the reserve and are very cute. The soft sound they make is very beautiful, but when they are upset they make quite a racket. They groom themselves and then they seek the sun. Male and female look alike although one has a darker orange beak and I presume that is the male.

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Valmai, they certainly can make quite the raucous when disturbed. The male and female in actual fact look alike. Perhaps there may just be the odd variation in colouration of their beaks depending on the individual bird rather than based on the sex.

Francesca Doria
Master Tracker

Hi, thank you for this interesting explanation on such fascinating birds, I suppose they also are important in propagating plant seeds as they eat mainly these. They are lovely birds and also fun to watch

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Francesca, they certainly do help in seed dispersal. Mainly by kicking open dung of animals where the seeds haven’t been totally digested or by eating the berries or fruit of certain plants. If they eat only the seed itself then usually this will be totally digested by the bird for energy. They are very entertaining birds to watch.

William Paynter
Digital Tracker

Thanks Barry for the information on the spurfowls and francolins.

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi William, glad you enjoyed the info on these small ground birds.

Jennifer Horne
Explorer

That was so interesting Barry. I’ve always called them both spurfowl. I love the feather pattern of the Natal Spurfowl and have a photo of it on my bedroom wall. I’m sure, although I might be way off here, that our tracker and guide said that they were eaten at certain times of the year, and tasted like chicken. Is that correct or were they just pulling my leg?

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Jennifer, the feather pattern of the Natal Spurfowl certainly is beautiful. Small ground birds have for many years been caught for subsistence eating. Personally, I have never tried either of them but perhaps they do taste like chicken 🙂

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Barry, I really appreciate your explanation on the differences between these two birds. As you pointed out, it’s always a bit of a heart stop when either of these are running in front of the vehicle, and I breathe again when they’re up in the air or running into the brush at the very last moment.
I marvel at your ability to quickly recognize each of the species, even knowing you encounter these birds most every day. My next trip, I’ll need to spend more time concentrating on the identification of birds.

Barry Bath
Contributor

Hi Denise, sometimes it seems as if they’re playing a game to see who will last the longest before flying off from in front of the vehicle. We’re looking forward to welcoming you back on your next trip!

Ian Hall
Master Tracker

Thank you Barry -learned something new

Glenn Kellogg
Explorer

‘Thanks Barry! Love your always informative posts … reminds me of your alway informative drives. Great photos. Feel like I’m back there.

Carly M
Senior Digital Ranger

A really great, informative article. What wonderful birds!

Lisa Antell
Digital Tracker

I learn something new each time I read this blog! Don’t know much about the avian world, but learning all the time!

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