Castro Verde SPA
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Species and Habitat
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Species and Habitat |
Order Gruiformes, Family Otididae;
Red Book of the Vertebrates of Portugal
individuals (excluding the population of
Eurasia and North of Africa, with two
on a global level.
One nucleus is located in the West, and centred on the South of Russia and
The East nucleus is located on the Iberian Peninsula and includes small populations in France, Italy and Morocco.
Typical bird of
With occurrence on natural steppe, pastures and extensive dry farming areas with crop rotation – fallow lands, crops, legume crops and plough soils.
Medium sized bird with a length between 40 and 45 cm and a wingspan between 105 and 115 cm.
It weight between 700 and 950 grammes, being that the females are slightly smaller than the males.
They present sexual dimorphism.
have a greyish head, a black and white collar on the neck and a very white belly. When flying it produces a very characteristic
whistle caused by the wind as it passes through the primary feathers.
are more brownish along the dorsal part, have a thin neck and the belly is of a mottled white.
are similar to the females.
Leafs, flowers, stalks, seeds and invertebrates.
They occur in
during the year and disperse in the spring.
The males defend territories in determinate locations – Leks, where they perform the
The courtship involves a calling and a leap with a sibilant wing-flash.
The females visit these areas and select a male to mate.
occurs in fallow lands or crops, where the female lays 3 to 4 eggs on the ground, among the vegetation. After a 20 days incubation period the hatchlings appear and immediately leave the nest.
During their first two weeks of life their feeding consists exclusively of insects.
The main threats to the species are agriculture intensification and the increase of human pressure.
Factors like the disappearance of fallow lands, the increase of cattle density, afforestation of farming areas, increase of irrigated crops and proliferation of roads and power lines lead to the destruction and fragmentation of their habitat. Farm mechanization and the use of pesticides cause an increase of egg, hatchling and juvenile mortality.
Last Update: 2015-03-04 13:31