Male great bustard in field

Great bustard

Great bustards are quite possibly the heaviest flying birds in the world. They're often described as magnificent, stately birds on account of the males' great size, cocked tails and large white whiskers. Hunted to extinction in Britain in the mid 19th century, these grand birds are now gradually being reintroduced from Russia on to Salisbury Plain. Populations of great bustards are scattered on open farmland across Europe and Asia.

Scientific name: Otis tarda

Rank: Species

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Great bustard taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Great bustard can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Great bustard distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Vulnerable

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Coots, cranes and rails
  6. Otididae
  7. Otis
  8. Great bustard

BBC News about Great bustard

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Nature's record breakers Nature's record breakers

    Animal kingdom record breakers - how fast can a cheetah run, how heavy is an elephant and what's bigger than a dinosaur? Watch amazing video clips from the BBC archive and uncover the fascinating facts about our smallest primate, the longest stick insect and the most venomous snake.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.