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the web of life in southern Africa

Eupodotis caerulescens (Blue korhaan) 

Bloukorhaan [Afrikaans]; uMbukwane [Zulu]; Tlatlaoe [South Sotho]; Blauwe trap [Dutch]; Outarde plombée [French]; Blautrappe [German]; Abetarda-azul [Portuguese]

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 > Family: Otitidae

Eupodotis caerulescens (Blue korhaan)  Eupodotis caerulescens (Blue korhaan) 

Blue korhaan male. [photo Knut Hansen ©]

Blue korhaan, Mpumalanga, South Africa. [photo Johan van Rensburg ©]

Distribution and habitat

Endemic to southern Africa, occurring in the highveld of South Africa surrounding and extending into Lesotho. It generally prefers flat or undulating ground in grassland and Nama Karoo.

Distribution of Blue korhaan in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  



Recorded by Clem Hagner, 1964, [© Transvaal Museum]


Predators and parasites


It mainly eats insects, lizards and plant matter, doing most of its foraging by walking along and pecking the ground, often in cultivated fields. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • Its breeding system is complex, as it can be either monogamous or polygamous, usually in trios with either two males or two females. However it may also breed cooperatively in groups of up to five, together raising a brood and defending the nest against predators.
  • The nest is a simple scrape in the ground, usually between grass tufts tall enough to conceal the incubating bird.
Eupodotis caerulescens (Blue korhaan)  

Blue korhaan at its nest with eggs, Wakkerstroom, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ©]

  • Egg-laying season is from September-February, peaking from October-November.
  • It lays 1-2, rarely 3 eggs, which are solely incubated by a single female or multiple females (depending on the size of the family group) for about 24-28 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents, leaving the nest soon after hatching to join the family group, who vigorously defend them by chasing away or distracting predators. The young take their first flight at about five weeks old.


Near-threatened globally and regionally, although its population is decreasing, probably due to habitat loss caused by cultivation, human settlement and afforestation.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.