Otis bengalensis Gmelin, 1789, Bengal. Sometimes merged with Eupodotis. Two subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Outarde du Bengale; German: Barttrappe; Spanish: Sisуn Bengali.
Male: 25 in (64 cm), 2.8–3.8 lb (1.25–1.7 kg); female: 27 in (68 cm), 3.8–5 lb (1.7–2.25 kg). Back and tail buffy brown, vermiculated with black pattern. Male has head, neck, and underparts black. Female has buffy head and underparts.
H. b. bengalensis: along border of southern Nepal and India, east to lowlands of Assam; H. b. blandini: central and southern Cambodia, southern Vietnam.
Flat grasslands, often with scattered shrubs, or in recently burned patches. Visits cultivation.
Both races dispersive, b. blandini probably with regular short distance migration. On breeding grounds, males make display flights from traditional sites.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Mainly vegetable matter in the nonbreeding season, invertebrates in the breeding season.
One to two eggs laid in March to June (India) on bare scrape where incubated for 25–28 days. No pair bond; female responsible for all incubation and chick rearing.
Endangered. Total population thought to be around 500 individuals in India/Nepal, but unquantified Indochinese population possibly contains several thousand birds. Conversion of grasslands and heavy hunting in some areas are the main threats.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Important food source in Cambodia.
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