Houbara Bustards are a species of large migratory birds found in parts of Asia, Middle East and Africa. The bird is most abundant in Central Asia and Pakistan. The main migration route of these birds is from Kazakhstan to Pakistan and vice versa.
The birds spend the summers in the Central Asian Republics, primarily in Kazakhstan.
During winters they migrate to arid or semi-arid regions, primarily to Pakistan.
The scientific name of the bird is Chlamydotis Undulata.
It’s also known as the African Houbara, in Africa.
They are about 55-65cm in length with a total width of 135-170m including the wings. Females are slightly taller than males.
The birds are brown in color, with black markings on their body.
Weight of these birds range from 1-2.5kg. Males are slightly heavier than females.
Female Houbaras lay eggs in quantities of 3-4. These eggs hatch about 24 days after being laid. The newly hatched birds take 35 days to completely develop their wings.
These birds are omnivores by nature and their diet mainly consists of small seedlings, insects, small snakes, birds and rodents.
They don’t drink water and get their water intake from their food.
Global population of the species is estimated to be somewhere between 50000-100000.
Houbaras are considered vulnerable to extinction because of excessive hunting by humans and urbanization of the habitat of these birds.
It is believed that after every 20 year period, population of this bird is decreased by 30-49%.
Houbaras are under significant threat by humans especially in Pakistan. Every year during the winter season hundreds and sometimes even thousands of the birds are hunted by Arab Sheikhs and Princes who visit Pakistan. Unless, hunting Houbaras isn’t completely banned and steps aren’t taken to conserve this species, the Houbara Bustard may become extinct very soon.