Red-crested Bustard or red-crested korhaan
Caption: The superb camouflage of the Red-crested Bustard ( Lophotis ruficrista) allows it to blend almost seamlessly with the long winter grass in the background, Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mk II; Lens: Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM; Focal Length: 400mm; Shutter speed: 1/1250; Aperture: f/5.6; ISO 400.

The Red-crested Bustard (formerly known as the Red-crested Korhaan) is a largish bird, standing around 50cm tall.

The red crest that gives it its name is found only on males and even then is rarely seen, except for when the male is displaying, in which case the elongated rufous feathers are erected to form a crest down the back of the head.

During the mating season the male performs a fascinating courtship display that starts off with a rapid vertical flight after which the wings are closed, allowing it to tumble to earth before landing safely.

This bustard is a solitary bird that prefers to stay on the ground as it can run better than it can fly. Its brilliant camouflage allows it to blend into the surrounding vegetation in the dry woodland and thick grassland that it prefers, making it difficult to spot.

The red-crested bustard, while walking through the vegetation, forages for seeds, small invertebrates, and fruit.

(Please Note: If you’re not reading this post on Wildlife Photography Blog from Wildlife Pictures Online, then you’re not seeing the original version. Please go to Camouflage of the Red-crested Bustard to read the original.)

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