Otididae - Bustards
Bustards are birds of open steppe grassland. All are long-legged, long-necked birds with stout bodies and a short, but powerful bill. Living almost exclusively in dry habitats they have, uniquely amongst birds, lost their preen gland, which other birds use to provide oil for waterproofing their plumage. Ranging in size a small chicken to a large turkey, all have an alert walking gait and they will freeze, crouching when danger approaches relying on their camouflaged plumage to avoid detection.
The sole British breeding bustard, the Great Bustard , which as it name suggests, is the largest species, became extinct in the 19th Century, a victim of persecution and habitat loss. Various attempts have been made to re-introduce it, especially on to Salisbury Plain; though none have been successful so far, efforts are continuing and recently the first young birds have been raised.
Bird ID basics (3 modules, Wednesdays 10am)
The training involves three weekly online modules, with a large interactive component and complemented by supported self-study exercises. We place a strong emphasis on providing you with tools and techniques that will...
What’s the score for Copeland’s symphony of seabirds?
Northern Ireland Seabird Coordinator Katherine Booth Jones describes her love for the wild coastal habitats of Northern Ireland and the charismatic seabirds that inhabit them.