Upper part of the body yellowish orange, with fine zigzag dusky lines; neck black, encircled by a double collar of white.

O. Tetrax, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. ex. p. 507. Little Bustard, Mont. Orn. Diet, and Supp. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 447. pl. 65. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 359.

Dimensions

Entire length seventeen inches and a half: breadth, wings extended, two feet ten inches and a half. Selby.

Description

(Adult male). Crown and occiput yellowish orange, with brown spots: sides of the head and throat deep cinereous, bounded by a white collar encircling the upper part of the neck; lower part of the neck black; on the breast another, and somewhat broader, white collar, below which is a narrow one of black: upper parts yellowish orange, crossed by numerous fine zigzag dusky lines, and mottled with large spots more sparingly distributed: the edge of the wing, belly, and upper tail-coverts, pure white: irides orange: bill and feet gray. (Female and young male). Throat white; sides of the head, and upper part of the neck, yellowish orange, with longitudinal dusky streaks; lower part of the neck and upper part of the breast the same, with transverse crescent-shaped dusky bars; lower breast and flanks whitish, spotted with dusky, the latter with a few fine longitudinal streaks besides on the shafts of the feathers: belly and abdomen white and unspotted: upper parts of the body much as in the male. Obs. It is not certain whether the adult male does not lose the black neck and double white collar in Winter, and resemble the female during that season. (Egg). Of a uniform olive-brown: long. diam. two inches; trans, diam. one inch six lines.

* Bewick's figure represents this species with a longitudinal black streak or band on the sides of the neck. It is possible that such a character may exist during the short period of the breeding season only, but it is not usually present.

A very rare, and only occasional, visitant in this country. Has been taken alive on the edge of Newmarket Heath, and more recently near Caxton in Cambridgeshire. Other specimens have been killed in Sussex, Kent, Devonshire, Northumberland, and Suffolk. Frequents plains, and large tracts of open country. Said to be graminivorous. Eggs three to five in number, deposited on the ground.