Bill equal to or longer than head, stout, straight, and slightly cleft. Nostril shut in by large posterior membrane. Lower mandible slightly grooved. Mid claw smooth. Hind toe small and raised. Large size. Plumage grey or white. Long neck and legs. Rectrices twelve, primaries eleven. Sternum with no notches behind, but perforated in front. No powder-down patches. Inner secondaries longer than primaries, and generally composed of drooping plumes with dissociated webs. Fifth secondary wanting. Small after-shaft.
Inhabit the Palaearctic region, migrating to India and N. Africa in winter. A rare straggler to portion of the United Kingdom, probably from Scandinavia. Migratory and gregarious. Breed on the ground. Two eggs. Appear to pair for life. Young hatched clad in down and run at once. Externally allied to Bustards; while internal anatomy is more that of Plovers.