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nicolebouglouan | profile | all galleries >> Birding in Spain - Extremadura and Monfragüe Park - Aragon - Navarra - Doñana - Villafáfila... Trip reports >> Birding in Extremadura and Monfragüe Park - April 2010 >> GREAT AND LITTLE BUSTARDS tree view | thumbnails | slideshow


The Great Bustard (Otis tarda) is a common sight in Extremadura, and mainly in the steppes. But these birds are difficult to find, often hidden behind a hill or walking among tall grasses and flowers.
In spring, the males gather at leks for the displays, and the females come to see them during several days before mating. Displays by males are spectacular when they perform the "wheel" also named "foam bath" with the white feathers displayed around the body.
The nest is a scrape on the ground, among the vegetation. The chicks are precocial, and leave the nest very soon after hatching. They are raised only by the female, and depend on her during about ten months.

The Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) has the same breeding behaviour, and several males also gather at leks for displaying, but their displays are different. The male jumps with open wings and erect neck feathers, while he utters calls.

GREAT BUSTARD - Otis tarda
gallery: GREAT BUSTARD - Otis tarda
LITTLE BUSTARD - Tetrax tetrax
gallery: LITTLE BUSTARD - Tetrax tetrax