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A photo of a Karoo Korhaan (Eupodotis vigorsii)
Karoo Korhaan

Karoo Korhaan

Eupodotis vigorsii

The Karoo Korhaan, known scientifically as Heterotetrax vigorsii and colloquially as the Karoo Bustard, is a modestly sized member of the bustard family, Otididae. This bird graces the arid landscapes of Southern Africa with its presence.

Identification Tips

Adult Karoo Korhaans measure approximately 60 cm in length. Sexual dimorphism is evident, with males being larger and tipping the scales at around 1,600 grams, while females are slightly lighter at 1,350 grams. The plumage of the nominate race is characterized by a grey-brown head, neck, and breast, with a distinctive black chin and throat bordered by white. The belly is a subtle pinkish white, and the wings are a shade of brown. Females resemble males but have less pronounced black on the throat. The subspecies H. v. namaqua sports a greyer neck and breast compared to its nominate counterpart.


The Karoo Korhaan is well-adapted to a variety of arid environments, particularly those associated with the Karoo and similar arid scrublands in Eastern South Africa and Namibia. It shows a preference for denser scrubland with vegetation cover ranging from 10 to 50 cm above the ground. A smaller contingent of this species can be found in Karoo-like fynbos habitats in the Southwestern Cape Province.


This species is distributed across southeastern South Africa and extends into southern Namibia. Two subspecies are recognized: the nominate race in southeastern South Africa and H. v. namaqua in northeastern South Africa and southern Namibia.


The Karoo Korhaan is an omnivorous bird, with a diet that leans heavily towards plant material.

Diet and Feeding

A diverse diet sustains the Karoo Korhaan, with a particular fondness for flowers, fruits, leaves, and corms. Flowers from the Asteraceae, Brassicaceae, and Mesembryanthemaceae families are especially important and consumed seasonally.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List classifies the Karoo Korhaan as Least Concern, indicating a stable population. It is also listed in Appendix II of CITES, reflecting the need for monitoring international trade to ensure it does not threaten the species.

Karoo Korhaan Sounds

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Karoo Korhaans on Birda


More Bustards

A photo of a Southern Black Korhaan (Afrotis afra) , male

Southern Black Korhaan

Afrotis afra
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