What is the largest bird in India?

The Great Indian Bustard is the largest bird found in India, only large birds in the plains of central and western India. The Great Indian Bustard is easily identified by its short tail, broad wings and long neck.

The Great Indian Bustard is known as one of the heaviest flying birds in the entire world. It is among the rarest birds in the world as well.

The great Indian bustard is a large ground bird with a horizontal body, long bare legs and an S-shaped neck. The upper plumage is brownish black and the belly is whitish. The neck has black and white stripes. The head has a black crown, face, chin and throat. There is a bushy black crest on the crown. It has a long pointed bill.

There are white patches on the wings which are conspicuous in flight.

Image credits

"File:Great Indian Bustard from DNP.jpg" by Kesavamurthy Nis marked with CC BY-SA 4.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/?ref=openverse
"File:Great Indian Bustard from DNP (cropped).jpg" by Kesavamurthy N is marked with CC BY-SA 4.0. To view the terms, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0?ref=openverse

Males vs females difference in the great Indian bustard

A conspicuous feature of this species is that it shows sexual dimorphism – males are larger than females with a huge difference in their body weight and size. Male birds average about 18 kg (40 lb) in weight, while females only weigh around 7 kg (15 lb).

Where is the largest bird of India found?

The great Indian bustard can be found in open grassland habitats throughout northwest India, Nepal and Pakistan.

Diet of the great Indian bustard

The Great Indian Bustard feeds mainly on vegetable matter. It feeds on seeds of grasses, herbs and crops like millets, pulses and oilseeds. Sometimes they feed on small creatures and insects.

The great Indian bustard is Critically Endangered

The great Indian bustard is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The great Indian bustard faces extinction primarily due to rampant hunting, habitat destruction and alteration due to agricultural expansion and development projects.

The bird was once a common sight in the vast arid grassy plains of central India, but numbers have plummeted in recent decades.

In Rajasthan, the bird is revered by locals who call them “God’s birds”.

Mating patterns of the great Indian bustard

Great Indian bustards are a polygamous species, with each male mating with a number of females. Mating season is usually between March and September. Males usually gather in groups and try to attract females for mating.

The eggs of the bird look like stones and that os a great advantage towards protection from predators.

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