Family Bustards (Otididae)

Critically Endangered

Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis)


French: Outarde du Bengale German: Barttrappe Spanish: Sisón bengalí

Otis bengalensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,



Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. b. bengalensis (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – patchily along border of S Nepal with India, and into lowland NE India; formerly Bangladesh.
  • H. b. blandini Delacour, 1928 – Cambodia; formerly S Vietnam.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 64 cm, 1250–1700 g; female 68 cm, 1700–2250 g. Upperparts and tail buffy brown, vermiculated and patterned black, with broad white panel on closed wing;... read more


    Normally silent but utters a metallic 'chik chik chik' call when disturbed.... read more


    Flat, moist, open grasslands with scattered shrubs and bushes; often prefers areas of relatively... read more

    Food and feeding

    Shoots, flowers, grasses, seeds and berries, but also insects such as locusts, grasshoppers, beetles, ants, and occasionally lizards and... read more


    Mar–Jun. Nest is a scrape in thick grass cover. Eggs 1–2; incubation period c. 25–28 days; chick has rufous buff down... read more


    Nominate race dispersive, with males moving short distances from breeding territories in summer,... read more

    Status and conservation

    CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. CITES I and II. Most endangered bustard, with a small and rapidly declining population. Severe and ongoing decline mainly due to conversion of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., Garcia, E.F.J. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis). 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).