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Northern black korhaan Afrotis afraoides

The northern black korhaan (Afrotis afraoides), also known as the white-quilled bustard, is a species of bird in the bustard family, Otididae. It is widely distributed across Southern Africa. Its habitat is primarily open grassland and scrub.

Description & appearance

The male's plumage has regularly-arranged black and white barring on the back and wings, the head, neck and underparts being black. The female has the head, neck, breast and upper parts barred or chequered in black and buff, the belly being black. The primary feathers are largely white, which distinguishes this species from the southern black korhaan where they are black. Both the female and the male have red beaks and bright yellow legs.

The northern black korhaan is a mainly ground-dwelling bird, but it does sometimes burst into flight when disturbed, the male emitting a loud, raucous "kraark, kraark" call. The male will often run away from an intruder with head and neck extended, before freezing, becoming surprisingly difficult to observe in the process. The female is less conspicuous and is seldom seen.

Distribution & habitat

The northern black korhaan is found in Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and northern South Africa. Its habitat is grassland, with vegetation up to a metre high, grassy dunes, semi-arid scrubland and open veldt.

Voice, singing & call

The male emitting a loud, raucous "kraark, kraark" call.

Hunting & food

The birds forage while walking along, feeding on and chasing after insects such as termites, ants, grasshoppers and beetles, as well as spiders, ticks and seeds.

Breeding & mating

Breeding takes place at any time of year. The male has a courtship display involving dipping flights, flaring white feathers and the ritual chasing of other birds. He displays to several females but is territorial, and drives away other males. The nest is a scrape on the ground containing one or two eggs.

Important Note:

This text is based on the article Northern black korhaan from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported (short version). A list of the authors is available on Wikipedia.