Family Bustards (Otididae)


Southern Black Bustard (Afrotis afra)


French: Outarde korhaan German: Gackeltrappe Spanish: Sisón negro alioscuro
Other common names: Southern Black Korhaan, Black Bustard, Black Korhaan, Little Black Bustard (when lumped with A. afraoides)

Otis afra


, 1758,

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa


Forms a species pair with A. afraoides, with which often considered conspecific (see below). In the past, species name commonly misspelt atra, the error originally arising probably from poorly printed text; scientific description has frequently been credited to “Linnaeus, 1766”, but pre-dated by valid 1758 description. Monotypic.


W & S South Africa from Little Namaqualand S to Cape Town, then E to Grahamstown.

Descriptive notes

50 cm; c. 700 g. Strongly marked, with back and lesser upperwing-coverts regularly barred dark brown on whitish, and broad white panel formed by greater and median upperwing-... read more


The male gives a raucous 'kerrak kerrak kerrak' both in flight and on the ground.


Coastal fynbos, semi-arid scrub, dunes with succulent vegetation, extending into renosterveld scrub... read more

Food and feeding

Very little information available. Known to include vegetable matter and insects in diet.


Aug–Oct. Nest is a grass-lined scrape. 1–2 eggs. No further information.



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. It was historically very common but is suspected to be undergoing rapid population declines owing to the loss and fragmentation of its habitat to... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Southern Black Bustard (Afrotis afra). 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 23 February 2020).