The Bengal florican, although a capable flier, is most often seen walking or running along the ground (5). It has a varied diet, feeding on insects, grasshoppers, beetles, ants, occasionally lizards and small snakes, and grasses, flowers, shoots, berries and seeds (2) (5). The proportion of these various food items varies depending on their availability, so that plant matter dominates in winter and spring, while invertebrate prey becomes more important in summer (2).
Like many birds in the Otididae family (9), male Bengal floricans perform elaborate displays during the breeding season (5), which extends from March to June (2). Within a patch of short grass in the centre of their territory the male will fly three to four metres into the air, descend, and then rise again before diving to the ground. This exaggerated flying display is accompanied by chik chik chik calls and loud wing clapping (5). In addition to these striking aerial shows, which are typically performed at dawn and dusk (5), a standing display with its neck feathers fluffed up, and a walking and head pumping display are also part of the Bengal florican’s courtship repertoire (5).
In contrast to the exhibitionist behaviour of the males, female Bengal floricans are far more secretive, visiting a male territory only briefly to breed and forage (5). Females lay one to two eggs directly onto a scrape in the ground, situated amongst thick grass (2) (5). The glossy, olive-green eggs, flecked with purple-brown, are incubated for 25 to 28 days by the female (2). The male provides no care for the chicks, which are capable of walking, running, and feeding themselves shortly after hatching (5).