Family Bustards (Otididae)


Great Bustard (Otis tarda)


French: Grande Outarde German: Großtrappe Spanish: Avutarda euroasiática

Otis Tarda


, 1758,



In past, birds of C Asia awarded race korejewi, but extensive overlap with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • O. t. tarda Linnaeus, 1758 – N Morocco and Iberia, Germany, Austria and Hungary, and S Ukraine; remnant populations elsewhere in E Europe; breeds also in Turkey and W Iran, and from SW Russia to Kazakhstan and NW China, wintering from SE Europe, S Turkey and Syria through S Azerbaijan and N Iran to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and NW Afghanistan.
  • O. t. dybowskii Taczanowski, 1874 – SE Russia, Mongolia and NE China, wintering in C & E China.
  • Descriptive notes

    Male 90–105 cm, 5800–18,000 g; female 75–85 cm, 3300–5300 g; wingspan male 210–260 cm, female 170–190 cm. Breeding male has upperparts... read more


    Rather silent. Both sexes produce a short, nasal bark as an alarm call or when excited. Downy... read more


    Associated with flat or rolling open short-grass plains, usually clear of trees, and agricultural... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly plant material and invertebrates, although small mammals, amphibians and nestling birds sometimes taken. Key plant families consumed... read more


    Laying in April–May, also June in colder NE parts of range. Nest on ground with or without scrape, occasionally with fragments of... read more


    The Iberian birds are largely sedentary or dispersive. Studies of the dense population at Villaf... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. CITES I and II. World population estimated in 2010 to be 44,100–57,000 individuals, with c. 57–70% in Spain, 15–25% in European Russia, 4–... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Great Bustard (Otis tarda). 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 4 April 2020).