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Black Bustard Eupodotis afra Scientific name definitions

Guy M. Kirwan, Nigel Collar, and Ernest Garcia
Version: 2.0 — Published October 22, 2020

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Also known as the Southern Black Bustard (or Korhaan), this species is endemic to South Africa, where it is confined to the Western and Eastern Cape. The Black Bustard was formerly considered conspecific with the White-quilled Bustard (E. afraoides), and these two, very similar, species are separated into the genus Afrotis by some authorities. Black Bustard and White-quilled Bustard also hybridize in the Great Fish River valley. Presently, it is considered Vulnerable by BirdLife International due to ongoing declines in many parts of its distribution, with major habitat loss likely having occurred in parts of Western Cape especially. The species inhabits renosterveld and strandveld in the fynbos biome, although it will occasionally occupy cultivated areas provided there are remnant patches of natural vegetation that persist in the vicinity. It is most conspicuous during the aerial display by the males, and the species’ harsh calls can be heard year-round. The species is sexually dimorphic: the male has a largely black head and underparts (including the underwing), a white patch on the cheek, a white collar and band on the wing, and the upperparts appear a mix of golden-brown, gray, and darker brown; females lack the white cheek patch and collar, and have black confined to the belly and posterior underparts, but the upperparts are basically like those of males.

Distribution of the Black Bustard
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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Black Bustard

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., N. Collar, and E. F. J. Garcia (2020). Black Bustard (Eupodotis afra), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.blabus3.02