Birda Logo
A photo of a Macqueen's Bustard (Chlamydotis macqueenii)
Macqueen's Bustard

Macqueen's Bustard

Chlamydotis macqueenii

The MacQueen's bustard, Chlamydotis macqueenii, is a large and majestic bird of the bustard family. It is a creature of the desert and steppe, with a preference for arid landscapes. This medium-sized bustard stands at about 65 cm in length and boasts a wingspan of 140 cm. Its upper parts are brown, while the underparts are white, adorned with black stripes along the sides of the neck. In flight, the contrast between the black and brown flight feathers and the white patch at the base of the primaries is striking.

Identification Tips

Both sexes of MacQueen's bustard are similar in plumage, though the female is slightly smaller and paler above. The male can be distinguished by its larger size, which is about 9 to 15% greater than the female across various measurements. During the male's display, the white feathers of the head and throat are raised, and the head is retracted, making identification easier.


MacQueen's bustard is found in deserts and other extremely arid sandy areas. It shows a strong preference for regions with dense scrub vegetation, particularly favoring the growth of Capparis spinosa.


This species ranges from the east of the Sinai Peninsula to the Caspian Sea, extending eastward to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Northern populations migrate south to winter in Pakistan and western India. Historical vagrants have been recorded as far west as Great Britain.


The male MacQueen's bustard performs a flamboyant display at lek sites, raising the white feathers of the head and throat and retracting the head while walking around. The display is a visual spectacle, with the male puffing up the black feathers on the sides of the neck to form a ruff and twisting his body from side to side as he approaches a potential mate. The female alone is responsible for nest-building and incubation, with the young leaving the nest immediately after hatching.

Song & Calls

MacQueen's bustard is generally silent, with the exception of the male's display sounds. These vocalizations are an integral part of their courtship ritual.


The clutch consists of 2-4 eggs laid in a bare scrape on the ground. The eggs hatch after about 23 days, and the chicks are nidifugous, following their mother who feeds them insects.

Similar Species

The MacQueen's bustard was once considered a subspecies of the houbara bustard but is now recognized as a distinct species. It is larger and paler than the houbara, with differences in the crest feathers and display behavior.

Diet and Feeding

An omnivorous species, MacQueen's bustard consumes seeds, berries, insects, and other invertebrates. They do not drink water, obtaining all necessary moisture from their diet.

Conservation status

The MacQueen's bustard is classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN. It has faced significant threats from hunting and habitat degradation. Conservation efforts include captive breeding programs and habitat management to ensure the survival of this remarkable bird.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Macqueen's Bustards on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Jeremie Berlioux
25 May 2023 - 6:37am

More Bustards

A photo of a Southern Black Korhaan (Afrotis afra) , male

Southern Black Korhaan

Afrotis afra
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Robred 2
Fun way to add to your birdwatching experience
I enjoy watching birds in my backyard, but this app helped me really pay attention while on vacation this summer. It was fun to add new birds to my bird watching app.
Alex J
Friendly and helps to identify birds
Great birding app, good for logging your sightings, also has nice species guide. I'm enjoying the social aspect more than I expected, everyone seems friendly and helps to identify unknown birds. Good mix of newbies and experienced users.
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Really great app
It’s easy to use and it’s fun to log the birds you notice on a walk or just in your garden. There’s a option to record the birds you see in a session which is really nice. Good excuse to stop for a while and just watch birds. I am also enjoying the information part where you can find out fact about birds from all over the world.
Great bird recording
For a while I’ve been trying to find an app to easily record bird lists and day out and struggled to find one that I like. Birda is great for this, straightforward and a great community!
Very Wholesome App
Joined this app with a new interest in watching birds to help me find out what I was spotting. The community is very active in helping identify birds which is great and everyone is very kind so it’s just a nice wholesome community. I would definitely recommend this for any bird spotter 😄
Hip An
Really enjoying Birda where I live i have a lot of Red kites really hard to photograph but I can video are you planning some place on the app where us Birda can post vids🦉🦅
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Makes you want to spot birds more
I think this app is fun. It makes you want to spot birds more so I guess in a way it encourages you to get out and about instead of sitting in front of the TV.
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved