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Species Guide
A photo of a Red-crested Korhaan (Lophotis ruficrista), male
Red-crested Korhaan, Male

Red-crested Korhaan

Lophotis ruficrista

The Red-crested Korhaan, also known as the Red-crested Bustard, is a striking bird that can reach up to 50 cm in length and weigh a maximum of 680 grams. Its wings, when folded, display V-shaped patterns in light cream with white accents. The breast feathers are a stark black, while the legs are a pale yellow and the feet are a muted gray.

Identification Tips

To identify the Red-crested Korhaan, look for the distinctive V-patterns on the wings and the contrasting black breast feathers. The male is further distinguished by its gray-blue head and a reddish patch on the nape, which becomes more pronounced when attracting a mate as the crest rises and throat and neck feathers puff up.

Sexual Dimorphism

In this species, males and females can be differentiated by their head plumage. Males boast gray-blue head feathers with a reddish area on the nape, while females and immature birds have brown head feathers instead.


The Red-crested Korhaan is adaptable to various environments, including dry savannas, bushveld, thorny scrublands, and occasionally wet woodlands. It is a sedentary bird, preferring to stay within its chosen habitat rather than migrate.


During courtship, the male performs a dramatic display by soaring high and plummeting down to attract females. Nests are ground-based, concealed by grass or bushes. The clutch typically consists of two eggs, ranging in color from olive-brown to pink-beige with dark brown spots. Chicks are precocial, leaving the nest within days to follow their mother. Independence is reached after four to five weeks, though they may stay with their mother for several months.

Conservation Status

The Red-crested Korhaan is currently listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List, indicating that it does not face any immediate threat of extinction. It is also included in CITES Appendix II, which monitors and regulates international trade to ensure it does not threaten the species' survival.

Red-crested Korhaan Sounds

Recorded by: © 
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Red-crested Korhaans on Birda


More Bustards

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

Southern Black Korhaan

Afrotis afra
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