Northern Black Korhaan | Afrotis afraoides

The Northern Black Korhaan is a beautiful ground nesting bird that occurs in the more arid areas such as the Karoo and Kalahari. The Northern Black Korhaan differs from the Southern Black Korhaan by distribution as they aren't found in the same areas.

Robert's Birding Information: Northern Black Korhaan

Northern Black KorhaanThe Northern Black Korhaan is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Otididae bird family group which includes birds such as Bustards.

The description for the Northern Black Korhaan (Latin name Afrotis afraoides) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Afrotis afraoides can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of and the detailed description of this bird is on page 298. You will find a picture of the Northern Black Korhaan on page 304.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as White-quilled Korhaan in the Roberts 6th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Eupodotis afraoides in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Northern Black Korhaan has a height of 50 cms and weighs around 765 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured red. The Afrotis afraoides has a white, brown coloured throat, yellow legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is red.

Legs are yellow.

Throat is white, brown.

Back is brown.

Photo's & Differentiating Between Male, Female & Juveniles

Please click the images below to make them larger:

Male Adult Adult male Northern Black Korhaan
Female Adult  
Juvenile Similar to female.
Non Breeding Plumage N/A

Northern Black Korhaan Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Northern Black Korhaan strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

The Afrotis afraoides forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

Northern Black Korhaan Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Northern Black Korhaan is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.