Bustard (Otididae) | Characteristics, Habitats & Amazing Facts

Name – Bustard

Scientific Name : Otididae

Type : Birds 

Age : 10 to 15 years

Diet : Omnivore

Physical Characteristics:

Length : 40 to 150 cm

Weight : 830 g To 19 kg

Colour : grayish above, barred with black and brown, and whitish below.

Skin Type : Feathers

Wingspan : 230 to 275 cm

Current Population : 600-700

Current Population Trend : Decreasing 

Native : Africa, southern Europe, Asia, Australia, and part of New Guinea.

Facts

Main Prey : eating leaves, buds, seeds, fruit, small vertebrates, and invertebrates

Habitat : scrublands 

Predators : dogs and various carnivores animals

Favorite Food : seeds and invertebrates

Amazing Facts

  • There are approximately 23 species, which are restricted to Africa, southern Europe, Asia, Australia, and a portion of New Guinea.
  • Bustards have long legs that are well suited to running. They only have three toes, since the hind toe is missing (hallux). The body is compact and borne in a very horizontal posture, with the neck standing upright and ahead of the wings, as in other tall running birds.
  • The great bustard is a cautious bird that flees quickly if it is threatened. It walks with a stately gait on ground. It flies very slowly but powerfully and sustainably on the wing.
  • Two or three olive-blotched brown eggs are laid in a shallow excavation protected by low vegetation.
  • The wings have ten primaries and sixteen to twenty-four secondary feathers. The tail has around 18–20 feathers.
  • They walk steadily on sturdy legs and large toes, pecking for food along the way. Most people would rather run or walk than travel. They have long, wide wings with “fingered” wingtips and striking flight patterns. Many have unusual mating behaviours, such as inflating throat sacs or elevating intricate feathered crests. The female lays three to five black, speckled eggs in a scrape in the ground and incubates them all by herself.
  • Outside of the breeding season, bustards are gregarious, but they are cautious and difficult to reach in their preferred open environments. Even where they are nominally protected, most species are disappearing or endangered due to habitat loss and hunting.

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