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  Bustard spreads wings in Britain
Updated 10 April 2004, 15.39
The Great Bustard
A heavy-weight bird that has not been seen in the UK for 172 years, is to wing its way into the countryside.

Called the Great Bustard, the bird is the world's heaviest bird that can fly.

After a long campaign by Bustard-lovers, 40 baby chicks will be flown from Russia in June. Once old enough, they will be released into the wild.

As part of their training, the birds - which can weigh up to three stones - will be introduced to a stuffed fox so they know what to avoid.

Fact File
Great Bustards
Omnivorous, meaning they eat seeds, insects, moles and even rats
Can live for up to 25 years
Mainly live in northern Europe and parts of Spain
They are as tall as deers
It will be the first time experts have tried to bring back an entirely extinct species in England since the 1970s.

The bustard - not to be confused with the band Busted! - look like an odd cross between a turkey and a golden eagle in flight.

They used to wander around grassy areas from the West Country to the Scottish Borders, but was last seen in the UK in 1832.

Bustards died out after that however because humans hunted them too much.



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