Great Bustard “Foam Bath” mating display

Great Bustard Display-0110, originally uploaded by Paradise in Portugal.

One of the great draws of spending time at the Quinta is the fact that Frank, (the owner), regularly guides birdwatching trips, and the area he thinks is the best are the Plains of the Alentejo just north east of us. He’s been doing it now for nearly twenty years and so knows the area like the back of his hand.

The Plains are famous for many species, but the flagship of the area is the Great Bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the world, and there is no better time to see this individual than right now, the end of March and the beginning of April, when they have their famous “Foam Bath” mating display.

They are a globally threatened species - a bird can’t walk around with 18 kilos of meat without having problems - and are therefore very wary and seldom let one approach close, so to get the shot above is the answer to many years of dreams!

If you want to see more pictures, visit Frank’s Birding site, www.birding-in-portugal.com

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