Thursday, June 26, 2014

White-Bellied Bustard

The male white-bellied bustard has a distinctive blue neck and chest, whitish belly, white face with black markings, a red bill base and a blackish/brown crown. The upper parts of the body are brown with dark brown vermiculations (dense, but irregular patterns). The female is more dull with a brown crown and hind neck and buffy orange to brownish gray fore neck. 
Male white-bellied bustard. A duller female is just visible on the right side. Photo by Mark Edwards. 
It is found in several zones: (a) the Sahel, a horizontal transition zone in Africa between the Sahara desert to the north and the savannah to the south, from Senegal to the west and Sudan to the east; (b) southern Ethiopia south to central Tanzania; (c) Gabon to west Zambia; and (d) South Africa. This is supposed to be one of the more common bustards in the area we visited, but we only saw one, I believe in the Masai Mara. We saw two other bustard species, the buff-crested bustard and the Somali Kori bustard.  

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