Cream-coloured Courser (Cursorius cursor)
Species

Taken at Tindaya Plain, Fuerteventura, on March 15th 2018.
(1/400th sec at f10. © David Hastings)

Description

L: 19 - 22 cm

The Cream-coloured Courser is a tall, slender bird with a relatively long, pointed, down-curved beak, a short tail, distinctly long legs and a characteristic upright stance. The body is largely pale cream or sandy in colour, with a white lower belly and sharply contrasting black wing tips and black underwings. The head is strikingly marked with a black stripe from the eye to the back of the neck, bordered above by a white stripe, and has a bluish-grey crown. The beak is black and the legs and feet are yellowish-white.

It is found in the Cape Verde and Canary Islands, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and into Asia. Subspecies exsul occurs on the Cape Verde Islands, cursor on the Canary Islands, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and bogolubovi from Turkey to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It is a vagrant in Europe.

This species typically inhabits arid, open, stony or sandy desert and semi-desert, including steppe, gravel plains, gravel roads, salt flats and dune troughs. It generally prefers relatively flat areas with only low, sparse vegetation.

Coursers feed by walking or running across the ground, pausing to pick up prey items.

It is regarded as being of Least Concern by the IUCN.

Sightings

15-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (1)
13-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (4)
11-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (1)
10-Mar-2018 : Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (1)