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Blue Bustard - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Blue Korhaan

Eupodotis caerulescens

Identification

Length 50-58 cm, mass 1.2-1.6 kg, males larger than females.
Adult male: Face white with grey cheeks and black lores, forehead and throat. Neck, breast and belly grey-blue and upper parts brown.
Adult female: Duller than the male; the cheeks are brown, the crown buff, and the black throat patch is smaller.

The grey-blue belly is diagnostic.

Flight

In flight, this is the only African Bustard with blue on the wings.

Distribution

East-central South Africa and western Lesotho.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].
The scientific name is also given as Eupodotis coerulescens.

Habitat

Short grassland and short Karoo shrubland, usually in flat terrain. Favours burnt grassland; sometimes in fallow fields and short cultivated pastures.

Status

Near-threatened in the 2007 IUCN Red List (BirdLife International, 2007): Habitat loss due to cultivation and afforestation (especially in the north and east of its range) is the main threat.

Behaviour

Usually seen in pairs or small groups. Family groups roost in a huddle on open ground or in long grass.

Diet

They forage on the ground for invertebrates, reptiles, seeds, leaves and flowers.

Breeding

Some pairs are monogamous, others breed co-operatively. Groups are territorial. The nest is a shallow scrape in the ground, concealed by grass-tufts. One to three eggs are laid September to February.

Vocalisation

Calls mostly in the early morning, also in the evening; a deep krok-kaa-krow.

References

  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. BirdLife International 2007. Species factsheet: Eupodotis caerulescens. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/2/2008.

Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533

Recommended Citation

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