Family Bustards (Otididae)

Least Concern

Red-crested Bustard (Lophotis ruficrista)


French: Outarde houppette German: Rotschopftrappe Spanish: Sisón moñudo austral
Other common names: Red-crested Korhaan, Rufous-crested Bustard

Otis ruficrista

A. Smith

, 1836,

near Latakoo (= Kuruman), Griqualand West, South Africa


Closely related to L. savilei and L. gindiana; all three often considered conspecific. Proposed race ochrofacies (from Namibia) considered undiagnosable. Monotypic.


S Angola and NE Namibia through Botswana, SW Zambia and Zimbabwe to S Mozambique, N South Africa and Swaziland.

Descriptive notes

50 cm; 680 g. Upperparts have distinctive cream V-marks giving mottled effect; grey on crown and lores, cream supercilium, indistinct pink nuchal crest (erectile in display... read more


Displaying males have a protracted vocalisation that begins with a long series of accelerating... read more


Thorn country and other dry light woodland regions, bush savanna and riparian growth, often with... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly known. Takes insects (beetles, grasshoppers, termites, ants) and other small arthropods; also berries, seeds and gum.


Breeding occurs during October–April, with a peak in Transvaal in October–November. Polygynous. Displaying males gather in... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common in much of range, with one calling male per 100 ha in C Transvaal; recorded as very common in 32% of squares in... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Red-crested Bustard (Lophotis ruficrista). 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 24 July 2019).