Australian Bustard

Australian Bustard, Adelaide Zoo

Australian Bustard, Adelaide Zoo

On my visit to Adelaide Zoo last week I took the time to visit the various aviaries and attempted to take photos of the many birds they have in their collection. This zoo has a particularly strong representation of Australian birds and it is quite a challenge to photograph them, particularly through the wire mesh.

On several previous visits I had been disappointed not to get a good shot of the Australian Bustard, one of our larger birds. This is one species I have yet to see in the wild. A few years ago a friend phoned me saying he had one in the paddock near their house, but by the time I drove there – some ten minutes away – it had flown. It is certainly not common in our district.

Australian Bustards – also called the Plains Turkey or Wild Turkey – is a large bird of inland areas of Australia. It is widespread by not common in the eastern and southern parts of its range. In general it is found singly or in small groups, but when conditions are right – such as during a locust plague – they can form loose flocks of many dozens.  Its favoured habitat includes grasslands, spinifex, open scrublands, sandhills and open pastoral lands.

I must head north one day soon so I can add this magnificent bird to my list of birds seen in the wild.

Australian Bustard, Adelaide Zoo

Australian Bustard, Adelaide Zoo

 

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