Family Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)

Critically Endangered

Jerdon’s Courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus)


French: Courvite de Jerdon German: Godavarirennvogel Spanish: Corredor del Godavari

Macrotarsius [sic] bitorquatus


, 1848,

Eastern Ghats, Andhra Pradesh, India


Sometimes included in Cursorius. Probably most closely related to R. chalcopterus of Africa, the two occurring in similar lightly wooded habitats. Monotypic.


Limited to Pennar and, formerly, Godavari Valleys in S Andhra Pradesh, EC India; also old specimens from SE Maharashtra and NE Andhra Pradesh#R. Was thought to be extinct until its rediscovery in 1986 around Lankamalai#R, and has since been found at few further localities in Lankamalai, Velikonda and Palakonda hill ranges; recently (2009) confirmed sightings in the Cudaapah District#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 27 cm. Crown and hindneck dark brown with whitish crown-stripe; broad white supercilia sometimes meet as V on nape, tinged cream in front of eyes; rest of upperparts and... read more


Earlier descriptions of vocalizations ascribed to this species are now considered to reflect... read more


Rocky undulating land with sparse, thorny (dominated by Acacia, Zizyphus and ... read more

Food and feeding

Virtually nothing known. Feeds at night, presumably mainly on insects, including termites.


No authentic information available. Male collected in Jun had enlarged gonads. Supposed clutch of two yellow eggs laid on ground claimed to... read more


Rather rounded wing suggests species is sedentary. However, according to local shikari,... read more

Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Endemic to Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh and extreme S Madhya Pradesh, India. Rare, local and elusive, even in 19th century. Until very recently,... read more

Recommended citation

Maclean, G.L., Sharpe, C.J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Jerdon’s Courser (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2018).