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
Gordon Buchanan goes in search of great bustards, the world's heaviest flying birds.
Weighing in at between 10 and 16kg, with recorded examples at over 20kg, the male of this huge bird is the heaviest living flying animal, alongside the similarly sized Kori Bustard.
Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.
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.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Decreasing
Year assessed: 2008
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.
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.