Bustard

Bustards
Kori Bustard
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Otididae
Rafinesque, 1815
Genera

See text.

Bustards, including floricans and korhaans, are large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They make up the family Otididae (formerly known as Otidae).

Bustards are all fairly large and two species, the Kori Bustard and the Great Bustards are frequently cited as the world's heaviest flying birds, since both may exceed 20 kg (44 lbs). The smallest species is the Little Brown Bustard, which is about 40 cm (16 in) and 600 grams (1.3 lbs) on average. In all bustards, males are substantially larger than females, often about 30% longer and twice the weight. They are among the most sexually dimorphic groups of birds.

Bustards are omnivorous, feeding principally on seeds and invertebrates. They make their nests on the ground, making their eggs and offspring often very vulnerable to predation. They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. Most prefer to run or walk over flying. They have long broad wings with "fingered" wingtips, and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays, such as inflating throat sacs or elevating elaborate feathered crests. The female lays three to five dark, speckled eggs in a scrape in the ground, and incubates them alone.[1]

Bustards are gregarious outside the breeding season, but are very wary and difficult to approach in the open habitats they prefer.[2]

Contents

Status

Most species are declining or endangered through habitat loss and hunting, even where they are nominally protected.[2] The last bustard in Britain died in approximately 1832, but the bird is being reintroduced through batches of chicks imported from Russia;[2] two great bustard eggs were recently laid in Britain for the first time in over 150 years,[3] but were unfertilized – probably owing to the still juvenile male population.

Floricans

Some Indian bustards are also called Floricans. The origin of the name is unclear. Thomas C. Jerdon writes in The Birds of India (1862)

I have not been able to trace the origin of the Anglo-Indian word Florikin, but was once informed that the Little Bustard in Europe was sometimes called Flanderkin. Latham gives the word Flercher as an English name, and this, apparently, has the same origin as Florikin.
—Jerdon's Birds of India, 2nd ed. ii. 625.

The Hobson-Jobson dictionary however casts doubt on this theory stating that

We doubt if Jerdon has here understood Latham correctly. What Latham writes is, in describing the Passarage Bustard, which, he says, is the size of the Little Bustard: Inhabits India. Called Passarage Plover. … I find that it is known in India by the name of Oorail; by some of the English called Flercher. (Suppt. to Gen. Synopsis of Birds, 1787, 229. Here we understand the English to be the English in India, and Flercher to be a clerical error for some form of floriken.

Species in taxonomic order

FAMILY: OTIDIDAE

Notes

  1. ^ Archibald, George W. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph. ed. Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. pp. 98–99. ISBN 1-85391-186-0. 
  2. ^ a b c Bota, G., J. Camprodon, S. Mañosa & M.B. Morales (Editores). (2005). Ecology and Conservation of steppe-land birds. Lynx Editions. Barcelona ISBN 84-87334-99-7; 978-84-87334-99-3.
  3. ^ [1] http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/bustard-eggs.html
  4. ^ Macqueen's Bustard has recently been split from the Houbara Bustard as a full species.

References

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • bustard — us tard (b[u^]s t[ e]rd), n. [OF. & Prov. F. bistarde, F. outarde, from L. avis tarda, lit., slow bird. Plin. 10, 22; proxim[ae] iis sunt, quas Hispania aves tardas appellat, Gr[ae]cia wti das. ] (Zo[ o]l.) A bird of the genus {Otis}. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bustard — Bustard, Fluß im Britischen Nordamerika; entspringt in dem See Aschikunipi u. mündet in den St. Lorenzstrom …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • bustard — (n.) large crane like bird, late 14c., from O.Fr. bistarde, said to be from L. avis tarda, but the sense of this ( slow bird ) is the opposite of the bird s behavior …   Etymology dictionary

  • bustard — ► NOUN ▪ a large swift running bird of open country. ORIGIN perhaps a blend of Old French bistarde and oustarde, from Latin avis tarda slow bird …   English terms dictionary

  • bustard — [bus′tərd] n. [ME < OFr bistarde (< OIt bistarda) & ostarde, both < L avis tarda, lit., slow bird, prob. folk etym. for name of Iberian orig.] any of a family (Otididae) of large, heavy, long legged gruiform birds of Europe, Asia, and… …   English World dictionary

  • bustard — /bus teuhrd/, n. any of several large, chiefly terrestrial and ground running birds of the family Otididae, of the Old World and Australia, related to the cranes. [1425 75; late ME, appar. b. MF bistarde (OIt bistarda) and MF oustarde, both < L… …   Universalium

  • Bustard — Derived from the bird species of the same spelling, the surname is a nickname which has a similar translation to the name Crane i.e. a person with one leg or other striking physical features. The name is Heraldic, with a principle Coat of Arms… …   Surnames reference

  • bustard — [15] Bustard (the name of a large game bird now extinct in Britain) is something of a mystery word. Old French had two terms for the bird, bistarde and oustarde, both of which come from Latin avis tarda, literally ‘slow bird’ (Latin tardus gave… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • bustard — [15] Bustard (the name of a large game bird now extinct in Britain) is something of a mystery word. Old French had two terms for the bird, bistarde and oustarde, both of which come from Latin avis tarda, literally ‘slow bird’ (Latin tardus gave… …   Word origins

  • bustard — Stone Stone, n. [OE. ston, stan, AS. st[=a]n; akin to OS. & OFries. st[=e]n, D. steen, G. stein, Icel. steinn, Sw. sten, Dan. steen, Goth. stains, Russ. stiena a wall, Gr. ?, ?, a pebble. [root]167. Cf. {Steen}.] 1. Concreted earthy or mineral… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English


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