any of several large, chiefly terrestrial and ground-running birds of the family Otididae, of the Old World and Australia, related to the cranes.

1425–75; late Middle English, apparently blend of Middle French bistarde (Old Italian bistarda) and Middle French oustarde, both < Latin avis tarda (Pliny) literally, slow bird, though tarda may be a non-L word, taken erroneously as feminine of tardus

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World English Dictionary
bustard (ˈbʌstəd)
any terrestrial bird of the family Otididae, inhabiting open regions of the Old World: order Gruiformes (cranes, rails, etc). They have long strong legs, a heavy body, a long neck, and speckled plumage
[C15: from Old French bistarde, influenced by Old French oustarde, both from Latin avis tarda slow bird]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

large crane-like bird, late 14c., from O.Fr. bistarde, said to be from L. avis tarda, but the sense of this ("slow bird") is the opposite of the bird's behavior.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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