Family Bustards (Otididae)

Near Threatened

Arabian Bustard (Ardeotis arabs)


French: Outarde arabe German: Arabertrappe Spanish: Avutarda árabe

Otis arabs


, 1758,



Closely related to A. kori. Proposed race geyri (described from C Niger) is a synonym of stieberi. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. a. lynesi (Bannerman, 1930) – W Morocco (probably extinct).
  • A. a. stieberi (Neumann, 1907) – SW Mauritania and Senegambia E to NE Sudan, W Eritrea and extreme NW Ethiopia#R.
  • A. a. butleri (Bannerman, 1930) – South Sudan; five records in NW Kenya#R#R.
  • A. a. arabs (Linnaeus, 1758) – N & E Eritrea, NE Ethiopia, Djibouti and extreme NW Somalia; SW Saudi Arabia and W Yemen.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male c. 100 cm, 5700–10,000 g; female c. 75cm, 4500 g. Back, wings and central tail sandy brown with fine black markings, white flecking on folded wing; some broad... read more


    Rather silent, but gives a rasping or honking croak "pah-pah" during displays and muffled... read more


    Semi-desert and open grassy plains, arid bush country, savanna, Acacia parkland, and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Chiefly grasshoppers, but also locusts when swarming, and beetles, bugs, crickets, caterpillars and other invertebrates, as well as small... read more


    Season linked to warmer periods in Palearctic fringes, thus Apr–Jun in Morocco and Arabia, although display noted Oct–Nov in... read more


    Unclear. In Sahel zone, migrates at 150–450 m above ground, in flocks, sometimes with ... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Widespread in very poorly documented areas, so might still be common in many places; however, in more... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Arabian Bustard (Ardeotis arabs). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 24 June 2019).