This is a typical representative of the bustard family living in the steppe. This name was given because birds can run fast if danger arises. The bustard is a rather massive bird: it weighs about 16 kg and has a long body that can reach 100 centimeters. The wingspan of the bird is also surprising, since it is approximately 200 centimeters.
What does a bustard look like
The appearance of birds is quite common. Their wide body, along with a large chest, is supported by three-toed legs, covered with scales and adapted for long walking. A short neck is held by a small head. The forehead area smoothly turns into a massive beak. Birds have a bright red or black plumage with light patches. Almost all parts of their body are painted in the same color. Sometimes there are brown spots on the feathers. There are white feathers near the beak this is a unique feature of birds.
Sexual dimorphism is expressed in the size and color of plumage. So, the male is much larger and more elegant than the female. The male individuals have a meter coverage. They weigh from 7 to 16 kilograms and have a long body. In turn, the maximum weight of the female is 8 kg.
There are two types of drones-European and East Siberian. Today, the population of both is at risk due to the fact that predators eat bird eggs, and a person destroys them due to the development of territories. Their main difference is the habitat, although plumage also plays an important role.
The European Bustard has a dark color, combining brown and black. The habitat of its habitat is the Rostov region and the Lower Volga region. Sometimes individuals of this species can be found in Iran.
The East Siberian Bustard has black stripes on the back and whitish bundles on the head of males growing in the summer. Representatives of the species can be found in various republics of Eurasia: Buryatia, Tuva.
They live in the north of Europe, in the northwest of Africa and in the south of many countries such as China and Russia. Sometimes bustard populations are found in Mongolia or Kazakhstan. They usually live on plains where there is feather grass. The bird does not like too wet lowlands and mountains. Forage meadows are what she needs.
Birds eat a very varied diet. They can eat insects, cereals and beetle eggs. The last option is relevant in the spring. Before dawn, birds prey on mice and other rodents or lizards. Sometimes they eat relatives who were injured.
In winter, the diet consists of plants related to legumes, cabbage. It can be various shoots, buds or fruits. In some cases, the bustard eats the roots of wild onions and wheatgrass. Due to the peculiarities of their gastrointestinal tract, the bird cannot eat coarse fibers.
After hunger is satisfied, you need to drink plenty of water. Bustards pay much attention to its quality. They need a cool and fresh liquid without any impurities.
They lead a terrestrial lifestyle, although they can fly. They walk slowly and steadily. In order to take off, the animal must take a run and take off with one jump. Gaining height, the birds occasionally but powerfully flap their wings and gain speed over time. Food is collected from the surface of the earth and they do not like to dig it out from there. Food is caught with a massive beak, one blow of which kills the victim. To better digest food, they eat stones that grind food.
Bustards are more active during the day, and in the evening they prefer to forage.
By nature, they live alone. It is unusual for them to gather in flocks, although during the period of migration, this is possible. However, the colonies contain birds of the same sex. Bustards usually come back the same way, but they do it only during the day.
They are resident birds. Sometimes in the north you can meet birds flying away for wintering to other parts. These are birds that easily adapt to environmental conditions. But their body is not adapted to rain or cold climates, as there is no sebaceous secret. For this reason, in cold weather, brefs cannot fly. But this is not the only problem. The difficulty is that it is difficult to extract food from under the snow, and there is very little game at this time of the year.
Sounds that these birds make can be called bleating. Males are more talkative and have a hoarse voice. What they pronounce can be called a combination of consonants. Females can send alarming signals to offspring in case of danger.
We offer to listen to the voice
Propagation and population
In females, maturity occurs already at 3 years old, when in males to about 5. During the time of the males, the males have their own territory where they do not let others and where they try to win the female. Usually male individuals demonstrate the back of the body, clinging to the ground. At this time, they often breathe, and their head seems to be drawn into the neck. Every 5 minutes, this technique is repeated. Bustards are not monogamous, because they mate with several partners at once.
The nest is built in May. This is a hole located in a place that is heavily overgrown with grass. Only the female is engaged in the creation and arrangement of the “home”. With the help of its beak, the bird rids the site of weeds, and then gives the dwelling a round shape, on the bottom of which fluff spreads.
Usually the female lays 2 eggs, which reach 7 centimeters in length. The shell is colored greenish with spots of dark colors. Approximately 3 weeks are spent on incubation of chicks, which is done by the female. At this time, the male goes to the place of molting.
Bustard incubates chicks, practically without moving, so as not to direct predators on the trail. As soon as danger approaches, she begins to pretend to be injured and tries to run away from the nest as far as possible. The female still leaves the offspring, but only in order to get food.
Literally from birth, young animals explore the area. After 7 days, the mother takes the chicks to the steppe so that it learns to hunt. As soon as the birds are 40 days old, they begin to fly on their own.
How long do bustards live?
They usually live for about two decades. However, due to the fact that the body of males has a large load, they die much earlier than females. In turn, the chicks die because of agricultural machinery or predators who steal eggs and want to feast on the young.