- Little Bustard
name = Little Bustard
image_width = 220px
image_caption = Male
status = NT
status_system = iucn3.1
trend = down
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
genus = "Tetrax"
genus_authority = Forster,
species = "T. tetrax"
binomial = "Tetrax tetrax"
binomial_authority = (Linnaeus,
The Little Bustard, "Tetrax tetrax", is a large bird in the
bustardfamily, the only member of the genus "Tetrax". It breeds in southern and central Europeand into western and central Asia. Southernmost European birds are mainly resident, but other populations migrate further south in winter.
This species is declining due to habitat loss throughout its range. It used to breed more widely, for example ranging north to
Polandoccasionally (Tomek & Bocheński 2005). It is only a very rare vagrant to Great Britaindespite breeding in France.
Although the smallest
Palearcticbustard, Little Bustard is still pheasant-sized at 45 cm long with a 90 cm wingspan. In flight, the long wings are extensively white. The breeding male is brown above and white below, with a grey head and a black neck bordered above and below by white.
The female and non-breeding male lack the dramatic neck pattern, and the female is marked darker below than the male. Immature bustards resemble females. Both sexes are usually silent, although the male has a distinctive "raspberry-blowing" call "prrt".
This species is
omnivorous, taking seeds, insects and other small creatures. Like other bustards, the male Little Bustard has a flamboyant display with foot stamping and leaping in the air. Females lay 3 to 5 eggs on the ground.
This bird's habitat is open grassland and undisturbed cultivation, with plants tall enough for cover. It has a stately slow walk, and tends to run when disturbed rather than fly. It is gregarious, especially in winter.
* Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is near threatened
* Tomek, Teresa & Bocheński, Zygmunt (2005): Weichselian and Holocene bird remains from Komarowa Cave, Central Poland. "Acta zoologica cracoviensia" 48A(1-2): 43-65. [http://www.ingentaconnect.com/search/download?pub=infobike%3a%2f%2fisez%2fazc%2f2005%2f00000048%2fF0020001%2fart00005&mimetype=application%2fpdf PDF fulltext]
* [http://www.oiseaux.net/oiseaux/photos/outarde.canepetiere.html Oiseaux] Photos.
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