Kondlo

Unknown Bird of South Africa. Etymology: Zulu (Bantu) word. Variant name: Inkondhlo. Physical description: Glossy-black, turkeylike bird. Sexes are similar. Smooth crest. No comb or baldness. Red beak. Red legs. Red claws.

Behavior: Flies low. Seen in flocks of five to ten animals. Voiceless. Eaten by the Zulu people.

Habitat: Grassy, treeless hills. Distribution: KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa.

Significant sighting: G. T. Court shot and ate some of these birds from 1912 to 1914 in the Entonjaneni Hills near Melmoth, South Africa. He saw a flock again in November 1960. Possible explanations:

(1) The Southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri), which has distinctive red wattles and a black bill.

(2) The Bald ibis (Geronticus calvus), which is a glossy, green color and has a prominent, bald head.

(3) An unknown species of wildfowl (Order Galliformes).

Sources: G. T. Court, "Inkondhlo?" African Wild Life 16 (1962): 81; G. T. Court, "'Kondlo': A Wild Fowl," African Wild Life 16 (1962): 342; Karl Shuker, "Gallinaceous Mystery Birds," World Pheasant Association News, no. 32 (May 1991): 3-6.

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