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Bustards: Otididae


Bustards are omnivores, consuming both plant and animal matter. They are opportunistic feeders who are often able to take advantage of any food. In most species, the diet consists mostly of plant matter, including leaves, shoots, flowers, roots and bulbs, fruit, and seeds. Individuals that occupy cultivated areas frequently eat crops as well. Bustards eat insects such as beetles and grasshoppers. Insects are a particularly important part of the diet during the breeding season, while chicks are being fed. Bustards sometimes eat larger animals as well, such as reptiles and rodents. In most cases, however, these animals are killed during fires or by traffic, rather than hunted by the bustards themselves.

Bustards are often seen foraging, or searching for food, near large herds of grazing mammals. This is probably because there is less danger from predators near other individuals. In addition, bustards may eat the insects which have been disturbed by the mammals.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsBustards: Otididae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Great Bustard (otis Tarda): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, BUSTARDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION STATUS