The Cream-coloured courser is a creature of the desert, a feathered apparition that blends seamlessly into the arid landscape. Its coat is a delicate shade of cream, a hue that shimmers like the sand dunes in the fierce heat of the sun.
As it moves, the courser seems almost weightless, its long legs carrying it effortlessly across the unforgiving terrain. Its wings are tucked neatly against its body, a testament to its mastery of flight and its ability to escape danger at a moment’s notice.
|1||Common name||Cream-colored courser|
|2||Scientific name||Cursorius cursor|
|3||Colour||Creamy-white with black and brown markings on wings|
|4||Average length||26-28 cm|
|5||Average height||18-20 cm|
|6||Type of bird||Grassland|
|7||Found in India||Rajasthan, Gujarat, and parts of Madhya Pradesh|
|8||Habitat||Semi-arid and arid areas, desert, and grassy plains|
The Cream-colored courser, also known as the Four-banded courser, is a bird species that belongs to the Glareolidae family.
The Cream-colored courser is a medium-sized bird with a distinctive slender body and long legs. It has a small head, a short, curved beak, and large, round eyes. Its wings are pointed and its tail is short, with a distinctive black-and-white pattern. The bird’s feet are also quite long and have three toes facing forward and one backward, which helps it to run swiftly over sandy and rocky terrain.
As its name suggests, the Cream-colored courser has a cream-colored plumage with distinct black stripes on the crown and nape, and four broad, dark bands across its back. The wings are pale grey with black primary feathers and white tips, while the tail has a black-and-white pattern. The eyes are dark and the legs and feet are a pale pinkish-brown color.
On average, the Cream-colored courser stands about 25-30 centimeters (10-12 inches) tall and has a wingspan of 50-60 centimeters (20-24 inches). The bird’s length, from the tip of its beak to the end of its tail, is around 20-23 centimeters (8-9 inches).
Habitat and Food
The Cream-colored courser inhabits a range of open habitats, including deserts, steppes, and grasslands. It is often found in areas with sparse vegetation, where it can more easily detect and capture prey. The species is also known to occur in agricultural areas and other human-modified landscapes, provided suitable habitats and food sources are available.
The Cream-colored courser is primarily carnivorous, feeding on a range of invertebrates such as insects, spiders, and scorpions. It has been observed using its sharp beak to probe the ground and capture prey, and it may also run down prey on foot. The species is known to be opportunistic and will adjust its diet depending on the availability of food sources in its environment. During times of scarcity, it may also consume seeds and other plant materials.
Nesting and Nurturing
When it comes to nesting habits, Cream-colored coursers are solitary nesters, with each pair making its own nest. They generally nest on the ground, in areas with sparse vegetation or on open sand dunes. The nest is a simple scrape in the sand, lined with grass and other plant material.
The Cream-colored courser typically lays a clutch of 2-3 eggs, which are elliptical and have a pale cream or buff color with dark brown spots. The size of the eggs is approximately 35 mm x 25 mm. The female is responsible for incubating the eggs for a period of around 20-23 days.
Once the eggs hatch, both parents take turns caring for the chicks. The chicks are born with downy feathers and are able to leave the nest shortly after hatching. They are precocial, meaning they are able to move around and feed themselves shortly after hatching. The parents continue to care for the chicks for a period of around 4-6 weeks until they are fully fledged and able to fly on their own.
The Cream-colored courser (Cursorius cursor) is listed as a species of “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This is because it has a large global range, and its population is considered to be stable, with no major threats to its survival at the current time. However, the species is susceptible to habitat loss and degradation through land-use changes, such as agricultural expansion, and overgrazing by livestock. These factors could potentially pose a threat to the species in the future.