Sub-Saharan Africa: S of Sahel zone to S Angola and extending south in E South Africa, excluding forest area and much of NE Africa north of Kenya.
Habitat and Ecology
Tall dense grassland and savanna woodland
Movements and dispersal
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The black-bellied bustard (Lissotis melanogaster), also known as the black-bellied korhaan, is an African ground-dwelling bird in the bustard family. Some authorities place it in the genus Eupodotis.
The black-bellied bustard is 58–65 cm (23–26 in) long. The bill and legs are dull yellow. The male's upperparts have black and brown marks on a tawny buff background; the underparts are black. The head is boldly patterned with black, white and buff. The neck, long and thin for a bustard, is buffy brown with a thin black line down the front that joins the black breast. The tail is brown and buff with four or five narrow dark brown bands. The upper surface of the wings is white with a brown triangle at the base; the flight feathers have black tips except for the outer secondary feathers. The white of the wings is visible when the bird stands, contrasting with the black underparts.
The female is plain buff, cryptically marked with darker brown mottling on the back and vermiculation (narrow wavy bands) on the neck and breast. The juvenile is duller and darker, with a dark grey crown and buff spots on the wing. The neck and rump patterns of both sexes, the male's white chin and lores, and the female's vermiculations are points that distinguish this species from its close relative, Hartlaub's bustard.
Range and habitat
In feeding habits it resembles other bustards. In courtship display the male retracts his head to his back, giving "a short rising wheezy whistle, zhweeeeee", pauses in that position, and slowly raises his head, giving "a popping quock or plop followed by soft gurgling".
- BirdLife International 2004. Eupodotis melanogaster. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 24 July 2007.
- Zimmerman, Dale A.; Turner, Donald A.; and Pearson, David J. (1999). Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Princeton University Press. pp. 90–91, 110–111, 309. ISBN 0-691-01022-6.