Family Bustards (Otididae)

Vulnerable

Asian Houbara (Chlamydotis macqueenii)


Taxonomy

French: Outarde de Macqueen German: Steppenkragentrappe Spanish: Avutarda hubara asiática
Other common names: MacQueen's Bustard
Taxonomy:

Otis Macqueenii

J. E. Gray

, 1832,

Himalayas

.

Until recently considered conspecific with C. undulata, but differs in its black-tipped white vs all-white crown with white-based black vs all-black ornamental neck plumes (3); pale blue-grey vs finely peppered black-and-white foreneck base and breast in mature male (2); position of crown feathers in display, falling forward over bill vs sweeping up and back#R (2); vocal differences in display (sequence ends in series of notes rather than one single note)#R (2). Monotypic.

Distribution:

Middle East and Arabia E to Iran and extreme W Pakistan. Breeds also from NW Kazakhstan and NE Iran E to Mongolia and N China, wintering from Persian Gulf to Pakistan and NW India, and in C China.

Descriptive notes

Male 65–75 cm, 1800–3200 g; female 55–65 cm, 1200–1700 g? Resembles African Houbara but larger, showing black in white crown feathers and a blue-grey foreneck (see above).

Voice

Rarely heard. The displaying male may give a staccato series of deep knocking notes; 25–40 in 12–18... read more

Habitat

Arid sandy semi-desert with tussock grass, flat bare stony plains dotted with xerophytic and... read more

Food and feeding

Variable and opportunistic, with no clearly discernible seasonal or geographical pattern. Vegetable matter such as fruits, seeds, shoots,... read more

Breeding

Chiefly March–May in Syria; April–June in CIS; apparently March–April in Pakistan. Nest is a shallow unlined scrape on ground, sometimes in... read more

Movements

Sedentary and locally nomadic in the Middle East. Central Asian populations are strongly migratory... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES I. Status everywhere very difficult to gauge owing to birds' highly cryptic coloration, elusive behaviour, and remote and inhospitable habitat. W Asia... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2018). Asian Houbara (Chlamydotis macqueenii). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/467258 on 15 December 2018).