Thursday, 11 June 2015

Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax)

                                  Male and Female Little Bustards (Tetrax tetrax) on Madrid Region Farmland, Spain - June 2015

Local Name (Spain): Sisón
Weight: 830g
Length: 43cm
Wingspan: 110cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Near Threatened  

 The Little Bustard is a fairly rare species in Europe, and is declining - we were very lucky to see them at the time of year we did - they ordinarily are hidden among the long grasses and crops of the steppe habitat they inhabit.  Though they are significantly smaller than the great bustard, they are still a decent sized bird - probably about on a scale with a pheasant, and are exceptionally well camouflaged - even without any ground cover these birds would have been very easy to miss.

Related Species:
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Otididae
Genus: Tetrax
Subspecies: None - monotypic

 - Sighting Locations -
SPAIN - Widespread but scarce and local resident
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Pair on farmland North of Madrid 
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Two birds seen near Laguna del Longar 

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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