Cream-coloured Courser
Cursorius cursor8
Range Canary Islands, Cape Verde, North Africa and Southwest Asia.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Glareolidae
Genus Cursorius
Species Cursorius cursor
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Cream-coloured courser (Cursorius cursor), is a species of wader in the Glareolidae family.

though classed as waders, these are birds of dry open country, preferably semi-desert, where they typically hunt their insect prey by running on the ground.


Hayman's Shorebirds treats the east African form littoralis as a race of the Somali courser rather than of cream-colored. Some authorities in turn consider the Somali, Burchell's and cream-coloured coursers to be conspecific.


These birds have long legs and long wings. They have slightly downcurved bills. The body plumage is sandy in colour, fading to whitish on the lower belly. The upperwing primary feathers and the underwings are black. The crown and nape are grey, and there is a black eyestripe and white supercilium.

In flight this species resembles a pratincole with its relaxed wingbeats, pointed wings and dark underwings.


These coursers are found in Canary Islands, Cape Verde, North Africa and Southwest Asia. Their two eggs are laid in a ground scrape. The breeding season extends from February to September, but they may breed also in autumn and winter when local conditions (especially rainfall) are favourable. They are partially migratory, with northern and northwestern birds wintering in India, Arabia and across the southern edge of the Sahara. Some birds also breed in the southern desert regions in northwestern India and Pakistan.

They are rare north of the breeding range, but this species has occurred as far away as Finland, Ireland and Great Britain.


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Cursorius cursor bogolubovi

(Zarudny, 1885)

southeast Turkey to northwest India
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Cursorius cursor cursor

(Latham, 1787)

Canary Islands, North Africa to Iraq
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Cursorius cursor exsul

(Hartert, 1920)

Cape Verde Islands
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