Houbara Bustard

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(Redirected from Macqueen's Bustard)
Houbara & Macqueen's Bustards
Conservation status: Vulnerable
Houbara Bustard
Houbara Bustard
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Gruiformes
Family:Otidae
Genus:Chlamydotis
Species:C. undulata
C. maqueenii
Binomial name
Chlamydotis undulata
(Jacquin, 1784)
Binomial name
Chlamydotis maqueenii
(Gray,JE, 1832)

The Houbara Bustard, Chlamydotis undulata, is a large bird in the bustard family. It breeds in the Canary Islands, north Africa and south western Asia. The Asian race has recently been split as a separate species, Macqueen's Bustard, Chlamydotis maqueenii.

The dividing line between the two species is the Sinai peninsula. Houbara Bustard is largely resident, but Macqueen's has a greater tendency to wander. For example, a handful of Chlamydotis bustards have reached Great Britain, mainly in the 19th century. All those attributable to a species have been the more geographically remote Macqueen's.

It is, alas, unlikely that any more of this species will reach western Europe, since it has been hunted to near-extinction in the Middle East by Arab falconers.

This superspecies breeds in deserts and other very arid sandy areas. In the Canarian part of its range, Macqueen's is a bird of the dry lava slopes of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura islands.

This bird is 60cm long with an 140cm wingspan. It is brown above and white below, with a black stripe down the sides of its neck. In flight, the long wings show large areas of black and brown on the flight feathers.

Sexes are similar, but the female is smaller and greyer above. Houbara is slightly larger and paler than Macqueen's. Both species are vocally almost silent.

Like other bustards, these have a flamboyant display raising the white feathers of the head and throat and withdrawing the head. 2-4 eggs are laid on the ground.

This species is omnivorous taking seeds, insects and other small creatures.

References and links

sk:Drop hrivnatý

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