Burchell's Courser

Scientific Name:
Cursorius rufus
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Burchell's Courser

Burchell's Courser (Cursorius rufus) is a striking bird species found primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, known for its cryptic plumage and distinctive behavior.


Burchell's Coursers typically inhabit arid and semi-arid habitats such as grasslands, savannas, scrublands, and sandy deserts. They are particularly common in areas with sparse vegetation and sandy substrates, where they are well camouflaged against their surroundings. These coursers are often found in open habitats with scattered bushes or shrubs, which provide shelter and nesting sites.


Burchell's Coursers are medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 20 to 25 centimeters (8 to 10 inches) in length. They have a slender build with long legs, a short tail, and a distinctive downward-curved bill. Their plumage is predominantly sandy or buff-colored, with intricate patterns and markings that provide excellent camouflage against sandy or rocky terrain. Best Viewing The best places to view Burchell's Coursers are arid and semi-arid habitats within their range. Look for them in open grasslands, sandy plains, or desert areas with sparse vegetation, where they blend in remarkably well with their surroundings. These coursers are often observed walking or running swiftly across the ground in search of insects and other small prey.