Saturday, 7 March 2015

197. Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax)

As the name suggests, Little Bustard is the smallest of the bustards considered here, and like many of its cousins it too is in decline, being classifed as Near Threatened due to habitat loss and degradation and hunting. Like the Great Bustard, adult male Little Bustards in the breeding season have an impressive chunky neck (attained through puffing out their neck feathers) with striking plumage; females and juveniles are slimmer and mottled sandy brown with white underparts. In flight they show extensive white on their wings, making them easily identifiable. They are resident in some parts of southern Europe (Spain, southern France, Sardinia and southern Italy; also northern Morocco) and some also breed in central France but winter further south. Further afield they are also found in parts of Turkey, the Middle East and central Asia. Their preferred habitat is open countryside with low vegetation for cover, such as dry grassland and low-intensity arable fields.

Little Bustard, ©Blake Matheson, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Little Bustard painting.
That is one fat bustard. I spent a bit longer on the wing feathers this time to try and get the details looking slightly more convincing, I like it better than the last few I've done but it's still not great. There are no shortcuts I guess!

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