GRUIFORMES: Otididae

Ardeotis australis  

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)
click photo for larger image
© Geoff Walker 2013
Maryfarms, QLD (Sep, 2013)

I was visiting Maryfarms with guide Andrew Isles to observe bustards displaying. Suddenly we were confronted with two male Australian Bustards having a major fight for displaying rights. It was on for young and old with all the dirty tricks employed.

[1] A good poke in the eye with a sharp beak.

[2] A firm grip on the back of the head accompanied by a severe shaking and twisting.

[3] The loser starts to flee and turns his back, getting a sharp beak in the delicate parts to hurry him on his way.

[4] The loser flees for his life.

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

I am the greatest

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

Look at me, Look at me

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

Australian Bustard

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

The fight

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

The deflated loser

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis)

The winner takes all