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Bustard / plains turkey in flight

Australian bustard / plains turkey in flight

Bustard, Ardeotis australis, in flight in outback Australia IMG 7518 - With flocks of several hundred bustards once meandering across the grasslands of Australia, early European settlers had a source of food right on their doorstep, and they enthusiastically hunted the large birds that they knew as ‘plains turkeys’. Their insatiable appetite for this meaty bush tucker saw populations of bustards rapidly diminish as settlers colonised new areas and brought sheep and cattle to graze on the grasslands that the birds inhabited. Fortunately, the bustard has survived the onslaught, and these large birds, although in greatly reduced numbers, can still be found in inland and northern areas of the continent, where they’re usually seen alone, in pairs, or in small groups, rather than in the extensive flocks that were a common sight in the not too distant past.

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