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Great Bustard
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Otididae

The Bustards are a group of large terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They are omnivorous and nest on the ground.

They walk steadily on strong legs and big toes, pecking for food as they go. They have long broad wings with “fingered” wingtips, and striking patterns in flight. Many have interesting mating displays.

Bustards are gregarious outside the breeding season, but are very wary and difficult to approach in the open habitats they prefer. Most species are declining or endangered through habitat loss and hunting, even where they are nominally protected.

The relationships of this group are shown below


Species list

  • Great Bustard, Otis tarda

  • Arabian Bustard, Ardeotis arabs
  • Kori Bustard, Ardeotis kori
  • Great Indian Bustard, Ardeotis nigriceps
  • Australian Bustard, Ardeotis australis

  • Houbara Bustard, Chlamydotis undulata( subspecies undulata and fuertaventurae)
  • Macqueen's Bustard, Chlamydotis macqueenii

  • Ludwig's Bustard, Neotis ludwigii
  • Denham's Bustard, Neotis denhami
  • Heuglin's Bustard, Neotis heuglinii
  • Nubian Bustard, Neotis nuba

  • White-bellied Bustard, Eupodotis senegalensis
  • Blue Bustard, Eupodotis caerulescens
  • Karoo Bustard, Eupodotis vigorsii
  • Rüppell's Bustard, Eupodotis rueppellii
  • Little Brown Bustard, Eupodotis humilis

  • Savile's Bustard, Lophotis savilei
  • Buff-crested Bustard, Lophotis gindiana
  • Red-crested Bustard, Lophotis ruficrista

  • Black Bustard, Afrotis afra
  • White-quilled Bustard, Afrotis afraoides

  • Black-bellied Bustard, Lissotis melanogaster
  • Hartlaub's Bustard, Lissotis hartlaubii

  • Bengal Florican, Houbaropsis bengalensis

  • Lesser Florican, Sypheotides indica

  • Little Bustard, Tetrax tetrax

Houbara Bustard


Traditionally the bustards in the order Otidae have been grouped with two other families of birds, the equally large cranes and the small rails and crakes in the order Gruiformes.

The new Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy which has been widely accepted in America, raises the rail family to order level as the Galliformes.

Macqueen's bustard has recently been split from Houbara bustard as a full species.


  • Sibley, C. G., and J. Ahlquist. 1990. Phylogeny and classification of birds. Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn.
  • Taxonomic recommendations for British birds. Ibis (2002), 144, 707–710. Alan g. Knox, Martin Collinson, Andreas J. Helbig, David T. Parkin & George Sangster

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