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Corncrake

Crex crex (Linnaeus, 1758)

Коростель | Шәукілдек

2013-07-27
Kolsai National Park
© Saltore Saparbaev

Distribution

Breeds widely in northern Kazakhstan in south up to lower reaches of Bolshoy Uzen and Malyy Uzen rivers, Taipak village on Ural river, Berchogura village in Mugodzhary, Turgay, Astana. Lives also in Kazakhishe upland (between Bektauata and Kyzylray and in Kurayly valley flowing down from Chingiztau), on Southwest Altai, in Kalbinskiy Altai, Saur and Tarbagatay ridges, Dzhungarskiy Alatau, and in Tien Shan to the west including Zailiyskiy Alatau (Almaty and Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake). On migration occurs everywhere.

Biology

Common, in places rare breeding migrant. Inhabits the high-grass meadows especially with bush thickets, both on plains and in mountains to 1500-1600 m on Altai and 2600-2700 m in Tien Shan, and rare on lucerne and cereal fields. Arrives in mid-end April in southern regions with the latest spring migrants recorded in mid-June, but in other regions appears in May or in early June. Breeds by separate pairs quite far one of other. Nest is located on the ground among the grass or low shrubs, in the shallow hole lined with dry grass stems. Clutches of 6-12, usually 9-10 eggs is laid in end May – early June, chicks hatch in July and begin the self-supporting life very early, probably in age of one-two weeks old. The males’ nuptial calls were heard until the mid-July, suggesting a double breeding. The moulting of adult birds is very intensive; all flight feathers lost in one time therefore birds can't fly some time. Autumn migration begins from the mid-August, in mountains Corncrakes disappear until the mid-September, but on plains the latest birds observed in mid-end November.

References

Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. И.А.Долгушин «Птицы Казахстана» том 1. Алма-Ата, 1960.

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