great bustard in Beijing zoo
Reintroduced via batches of chicks imported from Russia, the largest Eurasian game bird the Great Bustard, Otis tarda, is being reported to have nested in Britain for the first time, as the London Times puts it, “since Queen Victoria was a child (1832).”
A female bustard has laid two eggs somewhere on the Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire. The precise location is not being publicly released in order to foil the hordes of mad-keen British ornithologists (bird watchers) and the now nearly as endangered as the bustards themselves oologists (collectors of birds’ eggs).
The primary wing feathers of the great Bustard play an important role in the dressing of traditional featherwing Salmon Flies, being featured as ingredients in the wing of many of the most famous patterns.
The large patterned black-and-orange mottled strip of feather, third from the top in the wing, beneath the Golden Pheasant crest feather and brown mallard, is from the great Bustard.