The Red-Crested Korhaan, also known as the Red-Crested Bustard, is a common ground-dwelling bird occurring in many of South Africa’s conservation areas, inhabiting arid thornveld, savanna-bushveld and woodlands. . They are about 50cm long and weigh up to 900g. Their diet includes insects, seeds, berries and tree-gum. Males perform an acrobatic aerial display during the spring-summer breeding season, involving flying 10 – 30m straight up into the air before tumbling out of the sky as if they’ve been shot, only to glide to a safe landing at the last possible moment. The red crest from which they take their name is shown by the male only when displaying for females, and males will mate with as many hens as they can impress in this fashion. Eggs are laid in shallow hollows, usually scraped beneath bushes. Their characteristic shrill call is a feature of the areas in which they occur.
Owing to its wide distribution in Southern Africa, few pressures on its habitat and apparently stable populations, the Red-Crested Bustard is considered “Least Concern” by the IUCN. In the Republic of South Africa, this species can be commonly found in all provinces, with the exception of the Eastern and Western Cape.