1010. THE BUSTARD.
Otis tarda, Linn. Syst. Nat. i. p. 264 (1766) ; Naum. vii. p. 13, Taf. 167, 168 ; Hewitson, i. p. 285, pl. Ixxiii. fig. 1 ; Gould, B. of E. iv. pl. 267 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. iv. pl. 17 ; Dresser, vii. p. 369, pl. 508 ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. xxiii. p. 284 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iv, p. 193 ; Saunders, p. 523 ; Lilford, v. p. 1, pl. i.
Outarde barbue, French ; Batarda, Portug. ; Abutarda, Span. ; Otarda, Ital. ; Grosstrappe, German ; Stor-Trappe, Dan. ; Stor-Trappe, Swed. ; Dropha, Russ. ; Dudak, Tartar ; Houbara, Arab.
Male ad. (Spain). Head pale ashy grey ; hind neck and upper parts yellowish red, the latter barred with black ; tail at base and tip greyish, white otherwise reddish, with a broad subterminal black band, the middle feathers with a central black band ; quills greyish black, the secondaries chiefly white ; larger median coverts and spurious wing greyish white ; at the base of the mandible on each side a bunch of long bristles ; throat and fore neck greyish white ; lower neck and breast reddish chestnut, marked with black, below which is a pale ashy grey band ; under parts white ; bill dull plumbeous grey, blackish towards the tip ; legs dirty earth-grey ; iris dark brown. Culmen 2.5, wing 26.0, tail 11.0, tarsus 6.2 inch. The female is smaller, has the chin while, the head, neck, and upper breast pale French-grey, and the rufous pectoral band and whiskers are wanting.
Hab. Central and Southern Europe, now rare in Southern Sweden, formerly an inhabitant of England but now an occa¬sional straggler ; rare in North Africa, Asia Minor, and Central Asia, and has once occurred in North-west India.
Inhabits plains, in preference grass land and cultivated localities where the country is open. It is eminently wary and shy, flies with ease, and usually when alarmed seeks safety in flight. It feeds on vegetable matter of various kinds, and to some extent also on insects. The nest is a mere depression in the soil, and the eggs, which are usually deposited in May, 2 to 3 in number, are dull olive-brown or olive-green clouded with dark brown, sometimes almost uniform dull bluish, and measure about 3.22 by 2.12.
1010. Otis tarda
1010. THE BUSTARD.