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Kori Bustard

Ardeotis kori

Family:

Otididae, the bustard family.

Conservation Status:

Least Concern IUCN.

Distribution:

Eastern and southern Africa.

Habitat:

Open grasslands and lightly wooded savanna.

Factoid:

They may be the heaviest birds capable of flight.

They are large birds, about 4 feet tall, with a mottled grayish-buff, dark-brown flecked coloration, a black crest extending from the sides of the crown and a white stripe over each eye, creamy white throats and necks with black bands, buff colored under-parts with dark brown flecks. Their tails and flight feathers have grayish brown and white bands and their shoulders are checkered black and white.

They are omnivorous, although more carnivorous than other bustards. Insects form a large part of their diet, especially for chicks. They are one of the few species of birds that drink water by sucking rather than scooping it up.

They are preyed on by lions, leopards, caracals, jackals and eagles, and chicks are vulnerable to predation despite their camouflaging plumage. .

They are polygynous. Males gather in groups on low hills and perform elaborate displays for females, inflating their throats to four times their normal size. Males play no part in incubation or in the rearing of chicks. One to two pale olive eggs splotched with brown are laid a shallow scrape made by the female. Incubation is 23-24 days and the chicks can follow their mother several hours after hatching. They remain with her well after the five-week fledging stage.

 

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