from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various large, long-legged Old World game birds of the family Otididae that frequent dry, open, grassy plains.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of several large terrestrial birds of the family Otididae that inhabit dry open country and steppes in the Old World.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A bird of the genus Otis.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A large grallatorial bird of the family Otididœ, or of the genus Otis in a wide sense.
  • n. A name in Canada of the common wild goose, Bernicla canadensis, A. Newton.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. large heavy-bodied chiefly terrestrial game bird capable of powerful swift flight; classified with wading birds but frequents grassy steppes


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from blend of Old French bistarde and Old French oustarde, both from Latin avis tarda : avis, bird; tarda, feminine of tardus, slow.


  • (FYI a bustard is a bird not what you may have thought!) +1 Good Comment?

    H.R. 45 - Gun Licensing, Fines and Confiscation - SB 2099 This is information I received in the an email.

  • The bustard is a pelican-like bird that was completely eliminated from the British Isles by hunters, and only exists in those parts of Europe, like Germany and Hungary, where blood sport had been mainly confined to killing Jews, Gypsies, and the disabled.

    Sherman Yellen: The Pelican and Me

  • According to their description, they are as large as a bustard, which is a kind of goose, having the neck longer and twice as large as those with us.

    Voyages of Samuel De Champlain — Volume 02

  • There were innumerable pigeons and a few Floricans (a kind of bustard -- considered the best eating game -- bird in India).

    Himalayan Journals — Complete

  • A kind of bustard, with a very strong bill, and not larger than a hen, was numerous at Bountiful Island; and appeared to subsist upon the young turtle.

    A Voyage to Terra Australis — Volume 2

  • Dick and Grosvenor had already seen enough of the surrounding country during their two days 'foraging expedition to have come to the conclusion that conditions would now improve with every mile of progress, and this conclusion was fully borne out by their first day's experiences, the country gradually becoming more hilly and broken, with small watercourses occurring at steadily decreasing intervals, with more and richer grass at every mile of their progress, until by the end of the day they once more found themselves in a district that might fairly be termed fertile, while a few head of game -- bucks and a brace of paow (a kind of bustard) -- had been seen.

    The Adventures of Dick Maitland A Tale of Unknown Africa

  • Or what about the fact that once upon a time the well-to-do liked to indulge in something called the Roti Sans Pareil, which involved playing Russian dolls with game birds – a hulking bustard on the outside, teeny tiny garden warbler at the very centre.

    Food Britannia by Andrew Webb – review

  • "We got him!" a head popped in and shouted "the bustard was trying to get away from the rooftop, we got him."

    Fatemeh Keshavarz: Giggling in Fallujah

  • "Tell them we'll get the bustard, we know he makes roadside bombs, we even know where he gets his staff ... we'll get him."

    Fatemeh Keshavarz: Giggling in Fallujah

  • One animal practising its duck-and-cover technique here is the remarkable great bustard, recently reintroduced to the UK after its local extinction two centuries ago.

    Magic circles: walking from Avebury to Stonehenge


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • The most inglorious of all the game birds.

    August 15, 2011

  • Let some cry up woodcock or hare,

    Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons;

    But of all the gay birds in the air,

    Here’s a health to the Three Jolly Pigeons.

    Goldsmith, She Stoops, I

    January 8, 2007