Amazing Kori Bustard Facts!
At the Phoenix zoo, we are home to two pairs of Kori bustards, Pipe (pronounced Pipee) and Skwerl and Nadra and Crook both of which are housed off exhibit as they need a substantial amount of space and don’t do well with other animals in their space. They can be spotted, however, from the public side behind Gerenuk yard if you look all the way towards the rear of the exhibit!
- Kori bustards are known as the heaviest-flighted bird in the world, with males weighing in at upwards of 45 pounds and females weight around 30 pounds when fully grown
- These large birds are what biologists call “terrestrial”, or primarily ground-dwelling birds. They are capable of flight, but as a whole prefer to crouch down low and run away from potential threats. Interesting fact, they lack a hind toe so they aren’t able to perch like most birds can!
- They are found in dry habitats like savannas, grasslands, and semi-deserts throughout eastern and southern Africa
- They are, for the most part, solitary birds but occasionally will gather in large flocks for large feeding events
- Koris are considered omnivorous, and feed on an extremely varied diet consisting of small rodents, insects, reptiles, carrion, seeds, berries and roots. Every day our Kori bustards get a mix of ground meat, mice, fruits, veggies, mealworms, and a grain formulated just for them!
- Conservation fact: Kori bustard feathers are highly valued feathers for fly-fishing, and the birds are often hunted for the creation of these lures. A single feather can be valued between two and five hundred dollars, with a bird being worth up to 10,000 dollars. To combat this, the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums partnered with a fly fisherman named John McClain to collect naturally shed feathers from Koris in zoos and offer them for free. This helps reduce the value of Kori Bustard feathers and make hunting them in their native range less profitable.
More information about Kori Bustard conservation can be found at the following link – www.koribustardssp.org/