home   about   search

biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Otididae (bustards and korhaans)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Gruiformes

Species indigenous to southern Africa

Afrotis afra (Southern black korhaan) 

The Southern black korhaan is endemic to South Africa, being found in the Western, Eastern and Northern Capes. It is common to uncommon in the remnants of renosterveld and strandveld in the Western Cape, and nama karoo in the Northern Cape. It feeds on insects, small reptiles and plant material, foraging on the ground and picking up food items with its bill. It is polygynous, meaning that the male mates with multiple females, who do all the incubation and caring of the chicks. Its 1-2 are laid eggs directly on the ground, often so that it conceals the incubating female.

Afrotis afraoides (Northern black korhaan, White-quilled korhaan) 

The Northern black korhaan is endemic to southern Africa, and is uncommon to common in a wide variety of habitats. It feeds mainly on insects, such as termites, grasshoppers and beetles, but it also eats plant products, such as seeds. The male vigorously defends his displaying territory from other males, attacking them with his wings and mating with multiple females, who solely incubates the 1-3 eggs and raises the chicks. Amazingly, the chicks can fly when they are only half grown!


Ardeotis kori (Kori bustard) 

The Kori bustard has two subspecies, with one occurring in north-eastern Africa, while the other mainly occurs in southern Africa, living in a wide variety of mainly dry habitats. It eats a wide variety of animals and plant products, often eating hard materials, such as stones, pieces of bones and even bullet shells and broken glass! The male does a courtship display to multiple females, after which it mates with some of them, all incubating and parenting are left to be done by the female. The 1-2 chicks are able to fly when they are 3-4 months old, but they remain dependent on their mother until the following breeding season, when they are 12-18 months old.

Eupodotis caerulescens (Blue korhaan) 

Eupodotis rueppellii (Rüppell's korhaan) 

Eupodotis senegalensis (White-bellied korhaan)

Eupodotis vigorsii (Karoo korhaan) 

Lissotis melanogaster (Black-bellied bustard, Black-bellied korhaan) 

The Black-bellied bustard occurs from Senegal east to Ethiopia, extending south to southern Africa, where it is uncommon to locally common in a wide variety of mainly grassy habitats. Its diet is little known in southern Africa, but elsewhere it is omnivorous, mainly feeding feeding on small invertebrates, such as locusts, grasshoppers and beetles, as well as vegetable matter, such as fruit, seeds and leaves. The male does an elaborate courtship display to multiple females, whom he mates with afterwards. The incubating and parenting is done solely by the female, who protects intruders who get to close to the "nest", which is a bare scrape in the ground, with wings outstretched.

Lophotis ruficrista (Red-crested korhaan) 

The Red-crested korhaan is near-endemic to southern Africa, being uncommon to locally common in a range of woodland habitats. It is omnivorous, feeding on invertebrates, especially termites, beetles and grasshoppers, and plant matter, especially seeds and fruit, foraging on the ground, picking up food items with its bill. The male puts on a spectacular courtship display to multiple females, who solely incubate the eggs and raise the chicks. It lays 1-2 eggs, which are incubated solely by the female, for about 22 days, and little is known about the chicks.

Neotis denhami (Denham's bustard, Stanley's bustard) 

The Denham's bustard is widespread in the Afrotropics, from western to southern Africa, where it is scarce to locally common in grassland, fynbos and cultivated areas. It is omnivorous, feeding on a wide range of animals, including grasshoppers, weevils, spiders, and even snakes, as well as plant products, including grass, leaves and flowers. It is polygynous, the male mating with multiple females, who will take on all the incubation and chick rearing duties. It lays 1-2 eggs, which hatch after about 23-25 days. The chicks are cared for by their mother, who will catch food and put into in front of the chicks, although later they start foraging for themselves.

Neotis ludwigii (Ludwig's bustard)