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Common name Little bustard
Scientific name Tetrax tetrax
Type Farmland birds
Status Resident

Medium-sized bird (about 45 cm or 17.5 in), similar to the Great Bustard but small-scale. Brown plumage, barred on the breast and lighter on the underparts. During the mating season the males exhibit a collar of intense black colour with white bands in the neck, the head turns grey and in the breast they show two concentric white and black bands. Both sexes have strong legs, bare tarsi and three large fingers facing forward, revealing their terrestrial habits. In flight there is a very characteristic white band on the wings.


Cultivated areas

Where it lives

Open agricultural areas, especially cereal crops and legumes in an extensive manner, pastures, wastelands and fallows.

How it lives

Resident species all year round in the province. Gregarious habits, especially in winter and in the roosts. The breeding begins at the end of March. This bustard makes a single annual laying of 3 to 4 eggs. Nest on the ground. It feeds on insects in the reproductive period and seeds and buds in autumn and winter. Very showy courtship behaviour. They select boundaries and visible areas and the males perform a nuptial dance to attract the females consisting of hollowing the plumage and jumping, strutting in front of them.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

The only populations of Little Bustard in Malaga are in the region of Guadalteba, in the surroundings of the Fuente de Piedra Lagoon and in Campillos. In the Great Path it can be watched in stages 16, 18 and 19.

Curious facts

The name of the species in Spanish ("sisón") comes from the noise they make when flying, a very particular hiss, or "siseo", that accompanies their flight, fast and with a strong flutter.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration