Great Bustard March 2015 update

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2015


The spring is truly with us now with males displaying at two of our release sites. Last years birds are still apparently making their way back to the place of release with a new group of three being found yesterday. One group of three young males are still located on the south coast in Dorset, pills and show no signs of moving so far.

Of the 33 birds released last year the GBG can locate a mimimm of 12 individuals which gives a survival rate of over 36% which is the best the project has achieved. This figure is also notably higher than the survival rate in a healthy established population. We expect a few more birds to be located during the spring.

Of the UK releases we have normally found the males return to the release site after their first winter. In Brandenburg the released males often stay away until they have two winters under their belts. We have seen this in the UK, link when in 2005 two males went unsighted for over 18 month before arriving back at the release sight, but it is not the norm.

I observed two groups of males displaying this morning, although this is likely to be more a case of the males sorting out who is who, rather than trying to attract a female at this stage. The small groups of Spanish birds have not yet confronted the older Russian males, but I am sure they will at some point this spring.

We have been busy at the sites managed for nesting Bustards, getting the ground prepared, and expect the first Stone Curlews to be taking advantage of this work as the spring warms up.

David Waters

Posted by David Waters

David Waters is the founder and director of the Great Bustard Group.

4 Responses to “Great Bustard March 2015 update”

  1. pat o mahony says:

    Hi david.
    Nice to see such a good survival rate. Hopefully it will be a good year for the great bustard. Pat ireland.

  2. CameronDK says:

    I agree, Let’s hope for a good year. Keep up the very good work.

  3. David Taylor says:

    I have just seen a solitary Great Bustard in an open field in Cobham, Surrey.

  4. jim lindsay says:

    Hi someone posted a picture of what I am sure is a bustard at stone henge[on bbc springwatch facebook page ,search through their posts to page today]
    suggested they should contact you..have copied picture as well..think its a female but cant see a ring on its leg..