It is relatively big, its colors are strikingly beautiful, and it has a very fascinating call that resembles that of a frog—this bird species is called a Blue Korhaan. It is an adorable, medium-size bird that can only be sighted in several parts of southern Africa.
If you want to find out more about this charming bird species, read further!
What is the Blue Korhaan?
The Blue Korhaan, also known as Blue Bustard and Eupodotis caerulescens, is a bird species that belongs to the Otididae family. This family of medium-sized and large, terrestrial birds are made up of omnivorous bustards, floricans, and korhaans. The Blue Korhaan’s closest relatives include Kori Bustard, Great Indian Bustard, Black-bellied Bustard, and Lesser Florican.
First described in 1820, French ornithologist Louis Pierre Viellot was the first to describe this bird species.
The bird species is known for its distinct call, which is a series of frog-like croaks that are usually uttered when in flight. In 2017, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List recorded that the population of Blue Korhaans was estimated to be around 8,000 to 10,000 individuals. The population appears to be at a stable rise except in Eastern Karoo, where it has been reported that Blue Korhaans are nearing extinction. The decrease in numbers is highly affected by human activities such as the conversion of natural habitats to agricultural lands. Therefore, the IUCN Red List categorized this bird species as Near Threatened.
Its seven levels of scientific classification are as follows:
Species: E. caerulescens
The physical characteristics of a Blue Korhaan
A Blue Korhaan is famed for its sturdy medium-sized body, large head, lock neck, short toes, and long legs. This bird is a medium-sized korhaan that possesses a striking bluish-gray neck and underparts, while its underparts are dull chestnut in color. AN adult Blue Korhaan grows up to 50 to 58 cm in length and weighs for about 1100 to 1600 grams.
There are several physical characteristics that differ from each sex. A male Blue Korhaan usually has a black and white face. Its back, tail, and wings are brown, but its breast, neck, and throat are bluish-grey. Meanwhile, an adult female Blue Korhaan has similar colors. However, its neck and underparts are dull grey, and the ear coverts are buff. The legs and feet are yellow in color.
The distribution and habitat of Blue Korhaans
The Blue Korhaan is considered native to South Africa and can be found in western fringes of Lesotho and extends from Pretoria to Mbombela. This bird species is usually found in dry shrublands, plateau grasslands, arable lands, and grasslands which are open and treeless. It prefers short grass and scattering dwarf shrubs with nearby water sources. It also thrives in fallow areas that are cultivated, and in winter crops and pastures.
The behavior of Blue Korhaans
Blue Korhaans congregate in small groups and hunt in treeless grasslands, grassy Karoo, and open farmlands. Their loud, throaty call is characterized by a frog-like, three-syllabled “druk-de-dow,” which is then echoed by other members of its species. This distinct call can be heard in the morning and late afternoon.
This bird species are highly terrestrial. When a Blue Korhaan is disturbed, it crouches down, bows its head, and then runs away. Sometimes, it flies away.
During the breeding season, which takes place from October to November, a pair of Blue Korhaans will build a nest on the ground in thick foliage to mask them from predators and intruders. The scoop-like nest is a collection of twigs and dead leaves that are found within the area.
The female Blue Korhaan lays one to three eggs. These eggs will be incubated by the male and female Blue Korhaans for an average of 26 days. When the eggs are hatched, the parents will provide for their chicks. The chicks will usually stay with their parents for two years.
The diet of a Blue Korhaans
Like other omnivorous bustards, Blue Korhaans feed on a wide range of organisms and matters as well. They usually form small groups to hunt together for insects, seeds, scorpions, lizards, and plant matters such as flowers, seeds, and leaves.
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