Hartlaub's Bustard (Eupodotis hartlaubii
Hartlaub's Bustard are very large, 28" (71cm) birds with long necks and legs that trail behind its tail when flying.
The male has dark buff upperparts, with black and brown marks, diamond-shaped on its back and rump and barred on its tail. A black line goes through the white neck, from its throat to its black belly. Its head is off-white, with black and white patterns on the face and has a black-brown cap with specks of white. Similar to the Black-bellied Bustard
- a diagnostic is the back of the neck is grey, not brown.
The female is smaller, lacks black markings on the head and neck and the belly is cream. It is very similar to the Black-bellied Bustard - a diagnostic is a cream line running fown the front of its neck. Habits
Hartlaub's Bustard are generally seen in pairs, or small family groups and are very shy birds. They crouch down in long grass, rather than fly. They are strong fliers, but never fly very high. They nest on the ground. Being largely terrestrial birds, they have, through time, lost the first toe from the rear of their feet and only have three toes on each foot. Diet
Hartlaub's Bustard are omnivorous, eating both invertebrates and plant matter; largely seeds and flowers. Resident
Hartlaub's Bustard are found mostly in Kenya's Marsabit, Amboseli, Tsavo, Nairobi and Meru National Parks, although pockets are found in central and south-west Kenya. These birds favour tall grasslands and dry savanna. Extra Hartlaub's Bustard Facts
Hartlaub's Bustard were named after the German ornithologist, physician and traveller, Karel Johan Gustav Hartlub (1814-1900). Along with the Bustard, a Teal and a Gull also bear his name.
At breeding time, Hartlaub's Bustard males extend and inflate their blackened necks, making a 'click
', then 'pop
' noise, followed by lowering their head, making an 'ooooomp
' noise. Photographs
Photographed at Kenya's Nairobi NP.