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Double-banded Courser - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 13:07, 16 August 2018 by Deliatodd-18346 (talk | contribs) (GSearch amended to allow for additional scientific names)
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Photo by jdbirdman
Namibia, October 2004

Alternative name: Two-banded Courser
Cursorius africanus

Rhinoptilus africanus



Arid country of eastern and southern Africa
Western Africa: occurs only in Angola
Eastern Africa: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Lesotho


Smutsornis vs. Rhinoptilus

Some authorities (Clements, 2007) place Double-banded Courser in the monotypic genus Smutsornis. However Howard & Moore (2003) and Sibley & Monroe (1996) place it within the genus Rhinoptilus and the Opus awaits clarification.

Subspecies traylori, displaying
Photo by Vernon Lundy
Etosha, Namibia, February 2000


There are 8 subspecies1:

  • R. a. raffertyi:
  • R. a. hartingi:
  • South-eastern Ethiopia (Ogaden Depression) and Somalia
  • R. a. gracilis:
  • R. a. bisignatus:
  • R. a. traylori:
  • R. a. sharpei:
  • Central Namibia
  • R. a. africanus:
  • Central Kalahari and southern Namibia to northern Cape Province
  • R. a. granti:


This is a bird of dry and alkaline flats as well as short grass plains normally up to 1800m.


Although it is active by day it may be nocturnal where temperatures are very high. It is generally seen in pairs.


It nests on the ground among pebbles or animal droppings, laying a single egg.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Avibase

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