Australian Bustard

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Australian Bustard

Ardeotis australis


Breeding season is from August to November. One to two eggs are laid directly on the ground, often in open areas near spinifex grass for the chicks to hide amongst once hatched. Incubation and care of the young is by the female. This species is nomadic.


Details Description
Type
Bird
Group
Bustard
Other Common Names
Plains Turkey, Wild Turkey
Identifying Characteristics

One of Australia's largest birds. (0.8-1.3 m). Wing span of up to 2 m. Predominantly grey-brown speckled with dark markings. A pale neck with a black crown, small crest and white eyebrow. The female is slightly smaller.

Distinctive Markings

Bold, black and white markings on the wings. Walks holding the head and neck erect. The male has a black crown with a black breastband. The female has a brown crown and no breastband. The white, feathered breast sac of the male is inflated and swung from side to side in a display to the female during the breeding season.

Diet

Omnivore, feeding on leaves, buds, seeds, fruit, frogs, lizards and invertebrates including crickets and grasshoppers, also mice.

Habitat

Grassland, spinifex, arid scrubland with saltbush and bluebush. Open, dry woodland of mulga, mallee and heath.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Sounds
Deep, booming loud calls in the breeding season. Abrupt, hoarse "huhh, huhh, aa - a - r - r - rgh, aa - a - r - r - rgh".
Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Gruiformes
Family
Otididae
Genus
Ardeotis
Species
australis
Inland and tropical northern Australia. Has mostly disappeared from the western volcanic plains of Victoria. Also found in New Guinea.

Distribution maps indicate current and historic locations where species have been sighted.

Source: Atlas of Living Australia

Conservation Status
DEPI Advisory List
Critically endangered
FFG Act
Listed as threatened
EPBC Act
Not listed
FFG Action Statement

The conservation status of species is listed within Victoria and Australia.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industry (DEPI) Advisory List consists of non-statutory advisory lists of rare or threatened flora and fauna within Victoria.

The Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG Act) lists threatened species in Victoria. Under the Act, an Action Statement is produced for each listed species.

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) is the Australian Government’s key piece of environmental legislation, listing nationally threatened native species and ecological communities.

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