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Cream-coloured Courser – First Spring record for the UK

Britain’s first-ever spring Cream-coloured Courser was found by a local lady talking her dog for a walk on Bradnor Hill, Herefordshire.

Cream-coloured Courser

The Cream-colored Courser, Cursorius cursor, is found in the Canary Islands, north Africa and southwest Asia. They prefer dry open country, preferably semi-desert.


It is a tall, slender bird with a relatively long, pointed, down-curved beak, a short tail, distinctly long legs and a characteristic upright stance They have pale sandy-buff to rufous upperparts, with black line extending from the rear of the eye to the nape, bordered above with white supercilium. Both black lines join on the nape, forming a conspicuous V. The rear crown is grey-blue. Underparts are pale sand with white vent. On the upperwing, primary flight feathers and primary coverts are black, contrasting strongly with the sandy-coloured secondary flight feathers. Underwing is black, with narrow white edge to secondary’s tips. The bill is black and the eyes are brown. Long legs and feet are yellowish. Sexes are similar.  


Its calls include a deep, barking praak-praak and a quieter tuk-tuk .


The Cream-coloured Courser feeds by walking or running across the ground, pausing to pick up prey items such as insects, spiders, molluscs, isopods and seeds. 


The breeding season usually runs from March to July. The nest is a shallow depression with no lining. The female normally lays 2 eggs which are incubated for about 19 days by both parents. The young leave the nest very soon after hatching and are fed by both parents during the first days.

Conservation Status – Least Concern

Not threatened with an increase in West Africa. Within Europe, it is listed under Annex I of the EC Birds Directive, which provides a framework for bird conservation in the region. A Species Action Plan is also in place in Europe, which recommends a range of conservation actions for it in the Canary Islands.


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