Among birds, none abounds more on the steppe than the bustard, or drakhva, as the Russians call it, which may be seen grazing in every direction. It migrates from northern Russia on the approach of winter ; but near Odessa, and about the mouths of the Dniester and Dnieper, it generally remains all the year round. Bustards are usually seen in parties of from twelve to twenty, but their gregarious habits increase in proportion as the winter advances, when from eighty to a hundred will often be found together. This, however, arises not so much from the sociable propensities of the bird, as from the more limited extent of pasture to which it is then obliged to confine itself. If, terrified by the approach of a real or supposed enemy, one of these large flocks rises, the birds do not remain together, but fly away in different directions to their several nests.
see more - The Steppes of Southern Russia
Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855