Bustards (Otididae)

Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax) - HBW 3, p. 273

French: Outarde canepetière German: Zwergtrappe Spanish: Sisón Común

Taxonomy: Otis Tetrax Linnaeus, 1758, France.
In past, frequently placed in genus Otis, and considered to be closely related to O. tarda mainly on grounds of similar bill shape and extensive sympatry; nowadays almost universally awarded separate monotypic genus; may be more closely related to Sypheotides (see page 240). Eastern birds have been awarded separate race orientalis, on grounds of larger size and greyer, more heavily marked upperparts; but much individual variation and considerable overlap between populations, so not nowadays accepted. Monotypic.

Distribution: Morocco and Iberia to France, Sardinia and SE Italy; Ukraine and SW Russia through Kazakhstan to Kirgizia and extreme NW China; extreme N Iran. Winters from Mediterranean zone through Turkey and Caucasus to Iran, and erratically elsewhere in S Asia.