Daily activity patterns of Great Bustards Otis tarda

Great Bustard (Otis tarda) Science Article 1


The daily activity patterns of the Great Bustard Otis tarda were investigated at Villafafila, NW Spain. This is the first published description of the time budget of this species. Time budgets were analysed according to sex, season and time of day, habitat and size and sex composition of flocks. Females spent more time feeding and resting, and less time preening than males. Feeding was the most frequent behaviour throughout the year, except in spring. Time allocated to different activities was affected by the time of day, being also related to the season of the year. Activity budgets differed among land uses, being influenced by the sex of individuals and the season of the year. The proportion of feeding was highest in pasture and lowest in ploughed land. Daily activity was also affected by the size and composition of flocks. Solitary individuals devoted less time to feeding and more time to scanning than individuals in flocks. Feeding time was longer in family flocks and shorter in male flocks. Time budget differences are interpreted as a response to individual requirements and social factors.

Martinez, C., Ardeola 47(1), 2000, 57-68

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