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Otididae – Bustards

Great Bustard in Spain: Photo by Marco Valentini

Welcome to our Otididae guide! Enter the captivating world of bustards, a family of birds known for their impressive size and striking plumage. Otididae, commonly referred to as bustards, inhabit a variety of open habitats across Africa, Asia, and Europe. With their majestic presence and distinctive courtship displays, bustards captivate birdwatchers and enthusiasts alike. Join us as we explore the rich diversity within the Otididae family, uncovering their habitats, behaviors, and conservation status. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or simply intrigued by these charismatic birds, our guides offer valuable insights into the captivating world of Otididae.

Overview of Otididae

With elongated legs and intricately patterned scales, the bustards are medium to large-sized ground birds that thrive in open landscapes. While they inhabit various regions across Eurasia, their highest diversity is observed in sub-Saharan Africa. The larger species exhibit movements reminiscent of small ratites, employing rapid thrusts of their beaks as they walk and forage. Notably, the family includes the heaviest flying birds, such as the Great and Kori Bustards, renowned for their remarkable courtship displays. These displays often involve peculiar contortions of plumage, vertical hops, brief flights, bowing, or head-bobbing, transforming their behavior into surreal and distinctly non-avian performances.