The Indian courser (Cursorius coromandelicus) is a ground bird, belonging to the family of pratincoles and coursers, Glareolidae.
The Indian courser species are distributed in the Indian subcontinent. These courser species hunt insects by running and picking. These coursers are monotypic species.
Indian courser - Overview
- Scientific name: Cursorius coromandelicus
- Species author: (Gmelin, 1789)
- Synonyms/Protonym: Charadrius coromandelicus J. F. Gmelin, 1789
- Family: Glareolidae › Charadriiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Vernacular names: English: Indian courser, Chinese: 印度走鸻, French: Courvite de Coromandel, German: Koromandelrennvogel, Spanish: Corredor indio, Russian: Коромандельский бегунок, Japanese: インドスナバシリ, Tamil: Kal Kuruvi
- Other names: Indian Courser
- Distribution: Indian subcontinent
- Diet and feeding habits: termites, ants, beetles, crickets, mole crickets, grasshoppers
- IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
Appearance, physical description and identificationThe Indian courser (Cursorius coromandelicus) is a medium-sized courser, measuring 20 to 25 cm in length. The wingspan is 55 to 60 cm.
The upperparts are grayish brown. The uppertail is white. The crown is dark bright rufous. It is bordered below by the white supercilia meeting in V on the nape. Just above the meeting point of supercilia, there is a black patch.
A broad, black eye-stripe begins at the base of the bill and passes through the eyes. The chin and lower cheeks are cream colored. The throat and the upper breast are pale rufous. The lower breast is deep rufous.
The black beak is slightly curved downwards. The irises are black. The long legs are whitish and shiny. Both the sexes appear similar. Their call is a hoarse, creaky “gwaat” sound.
|Indian courser - Cursorius coromandelicus picture by Manojiritty|
|Indian courser - Cursorius coromandelicus photo by Supreet Sahoo|
|Indian courser - Cursorius coromandelicus image by Ashokkumar S T|
Origin, geographical range and distributionThe Indian courser species are distributed in the Indian subcontinent. Their distribution includes Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. There are no recent records of their occurrence in Bangladesh.
They are distributed in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Ecosystem and habitatThese courser species do not normally occur in forest. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 100 meters.
The artificial ecosystem of these species includes agricultural lands, fallow land with scattered scrubs, ploughed fields and pasturelands. The natural ecosystems of these species includes tropical and subtropical dry grasslands, rocky terrain, dry plains with scattered scrubs.
Diet and feeding behaviorThe diet of these courser species is mostly insects. Insects and their larvae, molluscs, spiders, termites, ants, beetles, crickets, mole crickets, grasshoppers, plant seeds and grains are their primary food. They search for prey as they run and stop to pick the prey.
Reproduction and breeding habitsThe breeding season of these courser species from March to August in India. The laying season is during May and June in Sri Lanka. The nest is a scrape on the bare ground. The typical clutch contains two or three speckled, spherical eggs.
The hatchlings have well-camouflaged cryptic coloration and patterns and on alarm crouch and remain immobile. The chicks have down feathers and are able move with the parents upon hatching. Initially they are fed by the parents and after a week they begin to forage on their own.
Migration and movement patternsThese courser species are non-migratory resident birds.
Post breeding, juveniles may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. They may make local nomadic movements for feeding and breeding within their range.
Conservation and survivalThe global population size of the Indian courser (Cursorius coromandelicus) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of these species is considered to be stable. Throughout its range it is reported to be fairly common. The generation length is 7.3 years. Their distribution size is about 3,570,000 sq.km.
The Indian courser (Cursorius coromandelicus) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion. Agricultural expansion and habitat fragmentation are the main threats that may endanger the survival of these species.
IUCN and CITES statusThe IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the Indian courser (Cursorius coromandelicus).
1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_courser.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Manojiritty | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_Courser,_Rollapadu.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Supreet Sahoo | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
3.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Indian_courser_juvenil.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Ashokkumar S T | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
Current topic: Indian courser - Cursorius coromandelicus.