Family Coursers, Pratincoles (Glareolidae)

Least Concern

Temminck’s Courser (Cursorius temminckii)


French: Courvite de Temminck German: Temminckrennvogel Spanish: Corredor etiópico

Cursorius Temminckii


, 1822,



Closely related to C. cursor, C. somalensis, C. rufus and C. coromandelicus, although present species partly allopatric with cursor and rufus, which may therefore represent a separate group. In past, occasionally treated as a race of C. coromandelicus. Proposed race damarensis (type locality in NW Namibia#R) is a synonym of aridus. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. t. temminckii Swainson, 1822 – S Mauritania and Senegal to Chad, discontinuously across Sahel to South Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • C. t. ruvanensis Madárasz, 1915 – Tanzania to Congo, Angola, Mozambique and NE South Africa.
  • C. t. aridus Clancey, 1989 – N Namibia and Botswana to W Zimbabwe.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 19–21 cm; 54–82 g. Upper­parts and breast pale brown; crown bright rusty, black line through eye, white supercilia meet on nape; upper belly rufous,... read more


    Considered to be generally silent; the only described vocalization is a sharp, metallic “err-err-... read more


    Mostly in savanna including of palm and Acacia, short-grass areas, dambos, fallow... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, harvester termites (Hodotermes mossambicus), molluscs and occasionally seeds. Feeds by running in bursts and stopping to... read more


    Mostly in dry season: all months except Sept and Oct in Senegal; nests Jan–Mar in N Ghana (more prolonged in S); Feb–Jul in... read more


    Mostly nomadic (e.g. in Uganda), though some populations possibly intra-African migrants, depending... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Commonest and most widespread courser in sub-Saharan Africa, with population in W Africa perhaps numbering at least 100,000... read more

    Recommended citation

    Maclean, G.L., Kirwan, G.M. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Temminck’s Courser (Cursorius temminckii). 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 19 February 2019).