male, as told by the black neck ruff (Spain; 2006-06-08)

Little Bustard
Tetrax tetrax

Native Range: Eurasia

Notes: bustards are mostly large terrestrial birds with strong legs, but they remain fully capable of flight and are among the world's heaviest flying birds; they show no sexual dimorphism and are often well camoflaged for the open grassland habitats that they generally prefer; bustards typically have a slow deliberate gate with head held high; the smaller species can rise into flight vertically but the larger species need a running start; mostly solitary, although some of the smaller species live in small groups; diet consists mostly of insects and vegetable matter such as leaves, buds, and tender shoots, but these birds also eat small mammals, snakes, and lizards; courtship displays in several species involve lek areas where males display communally to several females; males have inflatable neck sacs and can fluff out their necks and body feathers; on the lek, the courtship dances can become very wild with lots of swaying and crashing around; females select the nests and tend the eggs and young,with incubation lasting about a month.

dorsal view; mottled head and upperparts (Spain; 2006-06-08)

in flight shows large whit patches on wings (Spain; 2006-06-08)

also shows a white rump in flight (Spain; 2006-06-08)

strong flight despite being quite heavy (Spain; 2006-06-08)