Monday, April 11, 2005

Animal of the Week April 11, 2005 -- Charlie Bustard

Hello All, I hope this finds you well.

This week's animal of the week is Otis tarda (great bustard). Great Bustards are sometimes said to be the world's heaviest flying birds, but some people reckon that accolade goes to (insert joke re fat women on planes) the kori bustard. Whatever, at 20 kg, Otis tarda has to be up there (ostriches, I know you want to know this, weigh up to 160 kg). Now, the exciting thing for those of us who live in the UK is that they're back. After an absence of 200 years or so chicks rescued from abandoned nests in Russia (there you go, folks in Russia, a reference for you -- now email your mothers, they're worried) have been introduced to Salisbury plain. So, next time you're dancing around stone henge for some ritual or another and a great big shape blocks the sun, it might not be a plane, it's definitely not superman, it's not even an average bustard, but it might just be a great bustard. I like to think that the male in the photo is playing a game with a friend in which they each take it in turns to try and look like another animal.


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