Fun Kori Bustard Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 11, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Tehil David
Fascinating kori bustard facts to know more about this magnificent species.

The kori bustard belongs to the Otididae family which consists of a large number of species of birds scattered all over the world in grasslands including the continents of Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia.

These bustards are medium to large, and there are twenty-nine species under the family of Otididae and order Gruiformes and the kori bustard bird is one of them.

Kori bustards have another name, the great paauw (Ardeotis kori), which was discovered in South Africa, the bustards in this country are called paauw hence the kori bustards have been labeled as the great paauw because they are one of the heaviest birds around.

The term ‘Kori’ was coined by John Burchell who was an English Naturalist in the year 1882 which was obtained from the Tswana language used in parts of Southern Africa.

Kori bustards, of genus Ardeotis, are the heaviest terrestrial bird found in the vast grassy regions of Africa and spend most of their lives standing up. The species of kori bustard is further branched into two subspecies namely, the Ardeotis kori kori and the Ardeotis kori struthiunculus.

Ardeotis kori kori is found in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. While the Ardeotis kori struthiunculus are found in other parts of Africa including Kenya, Tanzania, and Sudan. This subspecies of kori is also known as the Somali kori.

For more information about kori bustards keep reading this article, and if you like it, check out the red-footed booby and the magpie.

Kori Bustard Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Kori Bustard?

The kori bustards are one of the 29 species of bustard birds found in Africa.

What class of animal does a Kori Bustard belong to?

Kori bustards belong to the class Aves.

How many Kori Bustards are there in the world?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, kori bustards were found in abundance, however, the precise number has not been given, but they have been declared as Vulnerable and Nearly Threatened because of the gradual decline of their population.

Where does a Kori Bustard live?

Kori Bustards are found on the continent of Africa, especially in the southern region. They typically reside in Namibia and Botswana, parts of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, therefore, it can be assumed that this species, and their subspecies, are scattered all over the continent.

Kori bustards are even preserved in various national parks including the Serengeti National Park, the Kitulo National Park, and the Ngorongoro National Park, all situated in Zimbabwe. However, this bird is sparse in the Northern and Eastern Cape regions.

What is a Kori Bustard's habitat?

These are terrestrial, non-migratory birds and the habitat kori bustards prefer can be described as dry grasslands.

Kori bustards may be barely seen or even nonexistent in the eastern part of South Africa, also in the highly elevated mountain areas and the southern coastal regions.

Short grass and scattered trees are favored by these birds because their diet mainly consists of insects which they pick from the ground and trees where the area has sandy soil like the Kalahari sands.

The kori bustard can also survive in areas where the regions are excessively dry, like the arid plateaus and scrublands as well as in the semi-deserts, and the lightly wooded savanna.

This bird utilizes the scanty grass-covered areas as its habitat for breeding and the hilly regions for nesting.

They frequently take shelter under the shade of the scattered trees with water bodies nearby to drink water, rainfall is infrequent in the areas where these birds thrive, and they are also spotted in the agricultural lands where wheat is cultivated.

Who does Kori Bustards live with?

These bustards either live alone or in a small group, the males mostly spend their life alone except for the breeding season.

How long does a Kori Bustard live?

The approximate life span of this bustard is 26 years, but sometimes they may live until the age of 28, however, an accurate estimate for their life expectancy is not known. These birds are vulnerable to various diseases which influence their life span.

How do they reproduce?

This species of bustard is further divided into two subspecies that have two different breeding seasons, the Ardeotis kori kori’s mating season is from September until February, while the Ardeotis kori struthiunculus' mating season is from December to August, and rainfall plays an integral role.

The kori bustard in the wild is polygynous, and a single male bird can copulate with multiple females, the procedure the male follows is called ‘lek mating’ during the breeding season.

Lek mating is the process in which the males form a congregation and take part in the combative display and courtship customs to attract the females.

The males achieve sexual maturity by the time they turn four to six years of age, and females take three or four years to become sexually mature (except in a zoo where they mature more quickly than in the wild).

Males prefer to live alone and only associate with females during the breeding season.

The males generate a call that is low-pitched noise as their mating displays in the presence or absence of females, and gradually the intensity of the call increases with the female birds in sight.

The adult males puff up their throat which appears like a balloon with their head held backward.

The females are drawn to the male after the display and the process of copulation starts, after copulating with the male the females lay eggs after four to six weeks on the ground, and the average litter size is one or sometimes even two eggs.

What is their conservation status?

The kori bustard is a near-threatened species, at one time they were found all over the African continent, but with every passing year their population is declining and in the next three generations the population may face a 10% decrease.

In the protected parts of the land, they are frequently seen but their population has become sparse in other parts.

There are many reasons associated with hunting, getting trapped, poisoning, and most importantly habitat demolition due to cultivation and agriculture.

What is a Kori Bustard's wingspan?

The wingspan of a kori bustard is 84-108 in (213-274.3 cm) for the males and for the females, it is approximately 70in (180cm).

Kori Bustard Fun Facts

What does a Kori Bustard look like?

A Kori bustard on a field.

The kori bustard is the heaviest flying bird and is sexually dimorphic, which means that the females are smaller than the males.

Their crest and body size distinguish them from the rest of the species, their body is covered in feathers and the kori bustard's feathers may vary in color from brown to gray, which has a black and white pattern on it.

The ventral plumage of kori bustards has a grey mark with black color which helps them to camouflage. Their neck and bust are gray and their neck has white markings on both sides.

The neck feathers give an illusion of a thicker neck and their beak is yellowish, as are their legs.

They have a large head, long legs, and yellow eyes. The presence of light-sensitive porphyrins gives the feathers a pinkish tint.

The crest of the male is dark black, which also differentiates them from females, as well as their size. Their chin, throat, and necks are cream and white and their belly is also white.

How cute are they?

The bustard is a big bird that can be intimidating when they are grown up completely but opinions may vary, but the chicks are absolutely cute.

How do they communicate?

The kori bustards are watchful but they are also timid sometimes, they can be courageous around humans sometimes. The kori bustard's sound is negligible, even noiseless compared to other species of bustards but if threatened the females make loud bark. The males produce a mating call to attract the females.

How big is a Kori Bustard?

The sexually dimorphic kori bustards are massive flying birds, the male kori bustards are as large as 41.3-50.3in (105-128cm) and the female kori bustards are around 41.3-50.3 in (105-128 cm) but their wingspan is short which makes them appear 30% smaller than the males. They are slightly bigger than great bustards which are around 35.4-40.9 in (90-105 cm).

How fast can a Kori Bustard fly?

The kori bustard does not like flying for a long time, they land very quickly after they take off hence their speed is unknown.

How much does a Kori Bustard weigh?

The average male kori bustard weighs around 15-40 lb (6.8-18.1 kg) and is bigger than the female kori bustards, who are 12-13 lb (5.4-5.8 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

No exclusive name has been assigned based on the sex of this species.

What would you call a baby Kori Bustard?

The baby Kori bustard is called a chick. The chicks are precocial and do not leave the mother’s side.

The wings of the chicks are somewhat developed after a month but it takes another three to four months for them to fly. Most of the chicks become independent by the time they turn two years old and insects are their major food source. However, they do not gain their maturity till they are three years old.

What does Kori Bustard eat?

They eat insects of all various kinds including grasshoppers, locusts, dung beetles, and other insects. Small mammals are often their food source, as they are omnivores. The kori bustard's diet also contains lizards, snakes, scorpions, and gum from the acacia tree.

What eats a Kori Bustard?

The kori bustard is threatened by many animals, their major predators are leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, and tawny eagles.

Is Kori Bustard the heaviest bird in the world?

The kori bustard weighs around 39.6 lb (18 kg) making them the heaviest flying bird.

Where they are found?

They are found in various parts of the African continent.

Are they predators?

Kori Bustards are predators as they prey on small animals and insects as their primary food source.

Did you know...

The largest population of this bustard is found in Kenya.

Kori bustards were declared the national bird of Botswana in 2014.

This bustard is often spotted with northern carmine bee-eaters and southern carmine bee-eaters on their back, and these carmine bee-eaters eat the insects and parasites found on the kori bustard's back.

Their hind toes are missing!

How does a Kori bustard fly?

These birds may only fly when they are threatened because they are not very fond of flying.

Where did the name Kori Bustard come from?

The name of this species comes from the Tswana denomination, Kgori.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the secretary bird and the frigate bird.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our kori bustard coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Tehil David

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David picture

Tehil DavidBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature, Master of Arts specializing in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Tehil David Singh is a fact checker with a Bachelor's degree in English literature from St.Xavier's College, Palayamkottai, and a Master's degree in Philosophy, and Religion from Madurai Kamaraj University. He has a passion for writing and hopes to become a story writer in the future. Tehil has previously interned in content writing and has been a content creator for the last three years. In his personal life, he enjoys singing, songwriting, performing, and writing stories.

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