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Visit the Wildside!

The Great Bustard

The Great Bustard (Otis tarda) is a large bird in the Bustard family that is unrelated to other large bird species such as turkeys or geese. They can fly and are the heaviest flying animal alive today. They can be found across Europe, as far south as Spain and as far north as the Russian steppes but the majority of Great Bustards are found in Spain.

They are huge and heavily built but stately in appearance. Adult male bustards can be identified by their bulging neck, heavy chest and cocked tail. Their shape is similar to a large goose, but the bustard is larger with longer legs and a straighter neck. The head and neck are a pale blue-grey, the body and tail brown with black bars and underparts are white. The wings of the Great Bustard are mostly white with dark primary and secondary feathers. Although it is a very capable flyer, with slow beats of its powerful wings, it usually prefers to stay on the ground, where it is a fast runner.

Read on and learn more about The Great Bustard in today's Visit the Wildside!

Click HERE to download this activity as a printable PDF.

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