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Kori Bustard

Kori Bustard
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-02-24
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A100, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX APO DG, Digital RAW 100, UV Filter
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Krugerpark feb/mar 2007
Date Submitted: 2007-05-01 10:18
Viewed: 3842
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Kori Bustard

Kori Bustards are large, strictly terrestrial birds. Males may reach 18 kg; females are half the size of the males. There are two subspecies. The East African subspecies (Ardeotis kori struthiunculus) has a mottled grayish-buff coloration with dark brown vermiculations. The sides of the crown on the head extend into a black crest. There is a white stripe over each eye. The chin, throat, and neck are creamy white mixed with black bands. The underparts of the bird are buff colored with dark brown vermiculations. The tail has wide bands of grayish brown and white. The primaries, or flight feathers, are also similarly marked. The shoulder area has a checkered black and white pattern. The southern subspecies (Ardeotis kori kori) is similar in appearance, but is slightly smaller withminor plumage differences.
The East African subspecies is found in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. The southern form is distributed in southern Africa in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, southern Angola, South Africa, and southern Mozambique. Kori Bustards are birds of wide, open grasslands, and lightly wooded savanna. The subspecies struthiunculus is generally found at low elevations ranging anywhere from 700 to 2000 meters. The subspecies kori can be found in arid savanna areas where trees are scattered intermittently. Both subspecies are fond of areas where the grass is short and where there is a good view of the surrounding area. Migrations in response to rainfall and/or food supply have been recorded, but the species is not migratory in the true sense.
Kori Bustards are omnivorous birds, although they tend to be more carnivorous than other species of bustards. Insects form a large portion of their diet, especially when they are chicks. They also eat a variety of small mammals, lizards, snakes, seeds, and berries of plants. They have been observed eating carrion. They are purported to eat the gum from the Acacia tree. Discrepancy exists however, as to whether they are eating the gum itself, or the insects that might be stuck to the gum. Kori Bustards are one of the few species of birds that drink water using a sucking motion rather than scooping it up as most birds do.
Kori Bustards are considered to be a polygynous species. Males often gather in loose lek-like formations on top of low hilltops and display for females. During the height of display, the esophagus in the neck of the male is inflated to as much as four times its normal size. The tail feathers are cocked so as to reveal as much of the white underfeathers as possible. The wings may droop down so much that the tips of the primaries touch the ground.
During direct courtship of a female, the male will bow toward her with his neck inflated and bill snapping. He may also emit a low-pitched booming sound. Actual copulation lasts no more than a few seconds, and once over, the male leaves and resumes displaying to attract another female. He plays no part in incubation or in the rearing of chicks. As with all bustards, no nest is made. Rather, the clutch of one to two eggs is laid on the ground in a shallow scrape the female has made. The eggs are pale olive in color with splotches of brown. Incubation is 23-24 days. The chicks are precocial and able to follow their mother around several hours after hatching. They remain with her well after the fledging period, which is at about five weeks. Sexual maturity is reached (at the earliest) at two years.

Bufo, stevkds, uleko, Argus, horia, ellis49, SkyF has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Bufo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 404 W: 69 N: 951] (4247)
  • [2007-05-01 10:22]

Ha Paul, hij kon natuurlijk ook niet uitblijven, want snel over het hoofd zien, dat doe je bij deze vogels niet. Toch is het op foto vaak lastig om de vogel 'los' te krijgen uit de omgeving. Is redelijk goed gelukt, ook met dank aan het nog groene gras. Mooie scherpe foto.
Groeten, JAcob

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2007-05-01 10:34]

Hallo Paul,
Perfecte foto van deze Trap. Ook ik heb een paar opnames van deze vogel, maar net wat Jacob schrijft: moeilijk om hem van de bruine achtergrond los te krijgen. Deze contrasteert prachtig.

Rare bird Paul. Very impressive picture. Excellent composition. Picture is in color balanced. Well done. tfs. Stev

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-05-01 10:58]

Hej Paul,
Excellent capture of this Bustard in beautiful light. I like the way he's posing and details are sharp and colours very nice.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-05-01 13:19]

Hello Paul,
Very fine capture of a Kori Bustard in lighting from the side, which is very effective in this sharp and well-composed portrait. Fine natural BG too.
Great shot!
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

Very nice shot of this wonderful Kori Bustard. A very unique and beautiful bird, and your photo has captured it quite well. Very nice lighting, colors and compostion.

Hallo Paul,

I like this image of the largest flying bird to be found. I like the side-lighting Well done.

The picture was taken at what probably is my favourite place on the planet. I just love satara.


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-05-02 5:03]

Hi Paul

Another superb capture from you from you South-Africa trip.
This is indeed a splendid composition you managed here and that magnificent low-angled light really made sure that all your colors and tones would be perfectly saturated.
The DOF is also excellent and isolates the subject from the BG and the sharpness is impeccable.

Bravo and TFS

Hi Paul,
a nice capture, the details are good and the low POV is very nice.
Lovely light and colours.
Well done.

still on the ship?

Quel bel oiseau beaucoup de détail et on croiraît un monochrome avec toutes ces teintes pareilles.

  • Great 
  • carper Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1973 W: 119 N: 2582] (8439)
  • [2007-05-02 10:52]

zo Paul een uitje in het Krugerpark zie ik.
het lijkt me macht mooi om dat wild in het echt vast te leggen, goede foto hier, prachtig werk.
groet Jaap

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-05-04 17:33]

Hi Paul.
oh never seen one like this before.. TN is a great site to learn about nature.
Very nice shot, I like the lighting a lot.
Very nice details and colors.

  • Great 
  • tinman Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 242 W: 7 N: 458] (2663)
  • [2007-05-08 12:09]

excellent post, you had a wonderful trip by the looks of it, this bird is not easy to spot
See my post, not as good a capture as yours, but a different angle

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