Alice Springs Desert Park

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The Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis) is an amazing large ground dwelling bird, with a slight crest, white eye-brow, speckled neck with dark markings and black crown. It stands at about a metre in height, with a wingspan that is approximately twice the height. The female is slightly smaller then the male.

The Bustard has what appears to be a ‘snooty’ appearance, as it walks in a sedate manner, holding its head up high. If disturbed it will walk away, whilst still watching, although it can fly when needed.

A nomadic bird, it can also be found in small groups. They fly to areas where food is plentiful, being capable of travelling long distances. They are omnivorous and will eat almost anything. The have been seen eating locust, mice and even whole cane toads without any apparent effects.

They are found in grassland, open savannah woodland, flood plains and open agricultural regions across the northern parts of Australia and southern New Guinea. Once widespread to the open plains of Australia, they are now rare, especially in regions that are populated.

Also called the plains turkey, wild turkey and bush turkey. The brush turkey is a name applied to another species known alternatively as the Brush-turkey.

Images © Greg Sully / Images © Ausemade PL

Check out our Fauna Index for more Australian Bustard images…


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  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Otidiformes
  • Family: Otididae
  • Genus: Ardeotis
  • Species: A. australis
  • Binomial name: Ardeotis australis