August 13, 2015 – Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indicus)

Found in dry grasslands of South Asia, these birds are in the bustard family. They eat insects, including locusts, seeds, and plant shoots. Known for their courtship displays, the males jump 6.5 feet (2 meters) in the air and quickly drift back down with their wings tucked in. During the breeding season, at the beginning of the summer monsoon, they may do this up to 500 times each day. Females nest in scrapes on the ground, incubating the eggs and caring for the chicks alone. They are classified as Endangered. In the 1870s their population began to decline due to hunting and this trend has continued as a result of habitat loss and drought.

Here’s a video of their courtship display: http://www.arkive.org/lesser-florican/sypheotides-indicus/video-09.html

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