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Great Bustard - BirdForum Opus

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Photo © by stefano t63
Villafafila, Spain, May 2010
Otis tarda


105 cm (41¾ in)
Breeding male

  • Back barred black and gold
  • Broad white patch on the wing


Immature Male
Photo © by john-henry
Villafafila, Spain, May 2007

Southern Palearctic, southeastern Russia to Mongolia and northeastern China.

A re-introduction programme has been started in the UK, based on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.



There are 2 subspecies1:

  • O. t. tarda:
  • O. t. dybowskii:


cereal croplands, open plains and steppe, grassland.



Their diet is mainly plant based, but they also eat invertebrates, small animals and nesting birds too.


They nest on the ground, sometimes making a scrape which is occasionally lined with pieces of grass.


<flashmp3>Otis tarda (song).mp3</flashmp3>


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2017)
  3. Birdforum Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

Great Bustard Group, UK Re-introduction website