Family Bustards (Otididae)

Least Concern

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)


French: Outarde d’Australie German: Wammentrappe Spanish: Avutarda australiana

Otis Australis

J. E. Gray

, 1829,

New South Wales, Australia


Very closely related to A. nigriceps; these two sometimes separated in genus Austrotis, having a very different display from the two African Ardeotis. Monotypic.


Australia, in all states, but generally rarer or absent in S and especially in SE; also S New Guinea, in the Trans-Fly and ranging farther W.

Descriptive notes

Male c. 120 cm, 5600–8200 g; female c. 90cm, 2800–3200 g. Back, wings and central tail brown with fine dark ver­miculations, black panel spotted with white on... read more


Croaks while feeding. Alarm call is a hoarse bark. The displaying male inflates his throat and '... read more


Mainly grassland dominated by tussocky forms, also in sparse low shrubland, savanna, open woodland... read more

Food and feeding

Shoots, roots, leaves, flowerheads, seeds and berries; molluscs, myriapods, arachnids, insects (especially grasshoppers, beetles and... read more


Aseasonal in arid and semi-arid N regions, occurring in response to rainfall; April–November in S. The mating system is classified as... read more


Largely sedentary in parts of range, but may disperse nomadically in non-breeding season. Satellite... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Population 10,000–100,000 individuals. Range in Australia has contracted since European settlement, owing to heavy... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis). 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 23 February 2020).