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7

Australian Bustard courtship behaviour

(Ardeotis australis)
Alternate name(s): "Plains Turkey", "Wild Turkey", "Turkey", "Kori Bustard"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "australis": "mantaba", "murranudda", "boorawa" ("burrawa"), "cooraki", "kipara", "kyogle", "nanatee", "nanundi", "numerkah", "pooranna", "ballala", "kio", "gumblegubbin" "bebilya", "kooli", "wabanga", "bibilerak", "barado" (WA)

Size: 80 cm - 1.3 m; wing span up to 2.3 m
Weight: 4-7 (max. 14) kg (male), 2-4 kg (female)

Back to the Australian Bustard main page .

Male Australian Bustards perform a courtship display to attract females. The photos shown here were all taken by M. Eaton along the Birdsville Developmental Road in September 2022. The male in this pair has a rather small air sac and is therefore probably a junior bird. Similar behaviour of birds in captivity at the Desert Park, Alice Springs, NT, was observed by C. Pears in August 2016.

Pair of Australian Bustards performing a courtship dance; the male is the bird with the inflated air sac
(photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

Pair of Australian Bustards performing a courtship dance (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

Pair of Australian Bustards performing a courtship dance (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

Pair of Australian Bustards performing a courtship dance (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

Pair of Australian Bustards performing a courtship dance (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

Pair of Australian Bustards performing a courtship dance (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

Subsequently, the female adopted a submissive posture and the male grabbed her by the bill; then the dance continued, with the two facing each other with bills locked.

Male Australian Bustard grabbing the female's bill (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

Male Australian Bustard adopting a dominant posture (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)

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