Bustards, Korhaan, Common Ostrich and Egyptian Goose

Large bustards are open country birds reaching 3-4 ½ feet tall.  The origin of their name literally means ‘slow bird’.  Found mainly in agricultural and grassland, they eat insects, small snakes, rodents and green plant life.  Most smaller bustards are known as Korhaans and are about 1½ feet tall. They inhabit arid and savanna grasslands. 

The Denham's Bustard is about 3-4 feet tall, and is the second heaviest flying bird. They generally occur along a coastal strip in S. Africa in open grassland and agricultural land.  The males courtship is by inflating their throat to form a conspicuous white 'balloon'.

The red crest of the Red-crested Korhaan is shown by the male only during courtship for females while performing acrobatic aerial displays.  They are about 1 ½ feet tall, and fly straight up to about 15 feet before tumbling out of the sky gliding to a safe landing at the last possible moment. They will mate with as many females as they can impress in this fashion.   

The Southern Black Korhaan is found nowhere else in the world. About 2 ft. tall, it hunts small reptiles and insects such as butterflies, bees, and locusts. It can strike a poisonous snake on the head with one fatal blow killing the snake instantly.

The Common Ostrich is the largest living species of birds. At 6 ft tall, it is flightless and adapted for running up to 45 mph. The males have black plumage with white wing tips and tan tail feathers. Most ostriches found across S. Africa originate from domesticated hybrids originally bred for the feather industry. The are farmed around the world for feathers, leather and meat. 

The Egyptian Goose similar in size to the Canada Goose is about 30 in. long. Originally from the Nile Valley, it is abundant in S. Africa and has established a presence in Central and Southeastern Texas. Largely a terrestrial species it may perch on trees and buildings and nest in cavities of mature trees and on ledges of rock cliffs. The males are generally quiet except during courtship, and the females tend to be noisier and their raucous quack can be heard frequently in aggression and almost incessantly when protecting their young.