The Nubian bustard is one of the larger and most characteristic of the Sahelo-Saharan bustard species. Adult males weigh in at over 5 kg and females a little less. The species shows sexual dimorphism. In males the forehead, crown and upperparts are tawny-buff marked with black. A broad black band extends over the eyes. The rest of the face is white except for the chin and throat which are black. The upperparts are pale tawny buff, lightly vermiculated with black. Tail is similar but more grey. The lower hindneck and sides of breast are bordered by a black line.