Critter of the Week: Kori Bustard




Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Aves

Order: Otidiforms

Family: Otididae

Genus: Ardeotis

Species: A. Kori

Binomial Name: Ardeotis Kori




Kori bustards spend up to 70% of their time on land, only flying to escape predators. They are naturally wary and will run or crouch at the first sign of danger. Being so heavy, flying is their last resort. They will first try to escape detection by quietly walking off, but if they must fly, Kori bustards must expel much effort to become airborne with heavy wingbeats. Once it’s in the air, however, they can slowly fly low to the ground until they are safe.



Kori bustards are omnivorous and will be seen foraging in the first and last hours of daylight. They eat insects such as locusts, grasshoppers, and caterpillars, and also plants like grasses, seeds, and berries. Kori bustards will often follow larger critters around to catch the insects flushed out by them.



Unlike most birds that scoop water to drink with their bills, Kori bustards will drink water using a sucking motion.

Mating season takes place once a year, when the male Kori bustards put on an impressive display to mate with multiple females. The males’ mating display involves inflating their esophagus to as much as four times its regular size, drooping their wings, raising their tail, and lightly bouncing around.



Similar to other bustards, the females do not make nests, and will instead use a shallow, unlined hollow. She will usually lay two eggs and raise take care of the eggs and chicks by herself.