Tag Archives: Double-banded Courser

Double-banded Courser

Smutsornis africanus

The mainly nocturnal Double-banded Courser inhabits rocky and sparsely vegetated semi-arid scrublands and grasslands as well as desert plains, where they subsist on a diet comprised of insects, particularly ants and termites. Adults weigh up to 100g and have a wingspan of about 45cm.

Double-banded Coursers are usually seen singly or in pairs, with larger groups of adults being a very rare occurrence. This species breeds throughout the year with a peak in the summer months. No nest is built and instead the well camouflaged single egg is laid directly on the ground, surrounded by pebbles, plant material or antelope droppings. Both parents take short turns to incubate the egg over a period of 3 weeks. The chick fledges when it is 5 to 6 weeks old.

The IUCN considers the conservation status of the Double-banded Courser as of least concern, with a stable population. The species occurs in two seperate parts of the African continent: one in East Africa and the other in the arid west of Southern Africa. In South Africa they are found in the Northern, Western and Eastern Cape, Free State and North West Province.