Photo: Zoltan Vajda / Kiskunsag National Park
Approximately the size of a turkey, the Great Bustard (Otis tarda; tuzok
) is the heaviest flying bird species in Europe
. It is a bird typical for continental grasslands of temperate climate: large open spaces, steppes, undisturbed pastures. Most of the Hungarian resident bustards live on the Plains (Alfold
Their mating season starts in the beginning of April
. When displaying to attract females, the males twist their feathers in a ritual dance, turning from their normal brown coloring to almost totally white. The females lay 1-3 olive eggs on the ground. The chicks and the grown birds feed on green plants, small insects, spiders, and locusts. During the winter, one of their main food is rapeseed or canola (Brassica napus
The Great Bustard is a resident bird in Hungary, but on cold, snowy winters it may migrate further south. In a program called “Tuzok Life Project
”, Kiskunsag National Park Directorate
is actively involved in preserving the natural habitat of the bustards, and protecting the existing population.
; conservation value: 1 million HUF/individual.
Source: One Year in the Kiskunsag National Park 2008 Calendar
(Egy év a Kiskunsági Nemzeti Parkban 2008
A Report from birdtours.co.uk. Hungary, June 6 - 12, 2005
, Jim and Sandi Ruch, Ojai, California, USA