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Red-crested Bustard

From Opus

Alternative name: Buff-crested Bustard1; Bush Bustard; Red-crested Korhaan

MalePhoto by CollinBaxKruger National Park, South Africa, October 2007
Photo by CollinBax
Kruger National Park, South Africa, October 2007
Lophotis ruficrista

Eupodotis ruficrista


[edit] Identification

Length 50 cm (19¾ in), mass 300-910 g; average mass of males (682 g) slightly higher than that of females (667 g).

Adult male: The crown is grey and the crest (which is concealed unless displaying) is rufous. Upper parts are brown; feathers have black centres and white chevron marks. The foreneck is grey. The underparts are black except for white patches on each side of the upper breast. Cream supercilium. The eyes are pale, the bill dark horn and the legs and feet are off-white to grey-green.

FemalePhoto by David_H_UKKruger National Park, South Africa, September 2005
Photo by David_H_UK
Kruger National Park, South Africa, September 2005

Adult female: Similar to the male, but the crown is brown with white flecks, and the neck and upper breast are buff with black flecks, grading to a broad white breast band.

[edit] Similar species

The female White-quilled Bustard (Northern Black Korhaan) lacks the white chevrons on the upperparts and has less black on the belly. The Black-bellied Bustard also lacks the white chevrons on the upperparts; the male has a balck stripe down the foreneck and the female has a white belly.

[edit] Distribution

Southern Angola and northeastern Namibia, Botswana, southwestern Zambia and Zimbabwe, southern Mozambique, northern South Africa and Swaziland

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[2].

Formerly lumped with Buff-crested Bustard and Savile's Bustard.7

[edit] Lophotis vs. Eupodotis

Some authorities (Clements 2015) place Savile's Bustard, Buff-crested Bustard and Red-crested Bustard in the genus Eupodotis. However, Dickinson (2014) and Gill & Donsker (2015) place these three taxa in Lophotis.

[edit] Habitat

Semi-arid woodlands, extending into sparsely wooded grassland in the southern Kalahari.

[edit] Behaviour

Solitary; inconspicuous unless calling or displaying.

[edit] Diet

Forages for invertebrates such as beetles, grasshoppers, ants and termites; also berries, seeds, fruits and gum while walking.

[edit] Breeding

Polygynous. The mating display of the male is spectacular; he flies up vertically to a height of 10-30 m, throws his feet up, tumbling over and drops to the ground like a stone, opening his wings at the last minute.

Females are probably not territorial, but nest alone. The nest is a shallow scrape in the ground, often near a shrub or sapling. One to two eggs are laid October to April, peaking earlier in the east. Only the females incubate and care for the young.

[edit] Vocalisation

When displaying, the male has an extended vocalisation which starts with a long, accelerating series of clicks: tic, tic, tic, finishing with a long series of piping whistles: pi pi pi pipity pipity. It can also make a squeaky, whistling sound that is very ventriloquial.

[edit] References

  1. Not to be confused with Buff-crested Bustard, Eupodotis gindiana.
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from
  3. Dickinson, EC, ed. 2003. The Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. 3rd ed., with updates to December 2007 (Corrigenda 7). Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691117010
  4. 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
  5. Sibley, CG and BL Monroe. 1996. Birds of the World, on diskette, Windows version 2.0. Charles G. Sibley, Santa Rosa, CA, USA.
  6. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154
  7. Urban, EK, CH Fry and S Keith. 1986. Birds of Africa Vol II: Game Birds to Pigeons. London: Academic Press. ISBN 0121373029
  8. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved August 2015)
  9. BF Member observations

[edit] External Links


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