Zhambyl area. Andasay.
© Andrey Kovalenko
The male Macqueen's Bustard in breeding plumage have sandy with buff and grayish tinge upperparts with black-brownish spots. Over these colors there is barred pattern especially on wing coverts. The upper head is sandy-grey with the crest formed by long fluffed black and white feathers. 20 tail feathers are bright buffy with broad dim-black cross strips and white tips. The flight feathers are white in base with black-brownish tips. Chin and throat are pale-grey, craw is ashy. The neck-flanks have two black bands fluently changing over to flocks of fluffed black and white feathers about 15 cm in lenght; these feathers form the collar. Breast-bottom and belly are white. Legs are pale-grey, beak is brownish. Eyes are yellowish-brown. The adult female is similar to male but have shorter fluffed feathers on head and neck-flanks. Chin and neck are not plain but have brownish streaks. Young bird during its first year is distinguished from female by the pale-buffy tips of tail feathers and paler back. Already at autumn young birds have less shown black collar. Sizes: wing 345 – 425 mm, tail 194 – 225 mm. Weight: 1250 – 2220 gram.
The Macqueen's Bustard breeds in southern half of Kazakhstan, in north to Taysogan sands, lower reaches of Irgiz river, Northern Trans-Balkhash area and Zaysan depression. On migration occurs at the same areas. Vagrant bird recorded at October 08 1978 in Tengiz lake area.
The Macqueen's Bustard is rare, in places common breeding migrant. It inhabits clay, stony, saline deserts and semi-deserts, fastened sand hills, and desert foothills. In the same places it occurs in spring and autumn migrations too. It is very hard to find Macqueen's Bustard in wild thorough its camouflage coloring and specific reserve. In danger Macqueen's Bustard lowly declining run aside. It runs very fast flies slowly and low over ground. In spring it arrives at night in March - April. Male occupies breeding territory and attracts one or several females. Nest of Macqueen's Bustard is a simple very shallow no matted hole made by female on open sun or under shade of little bush. Nest's border formed by dry culms and grasses brought by wind. Female alone builds nest, incubates and cares on juveniles. On the incubate beginning the males left females and keep off in small groups or alone. Clutches of 1-3 eggs founded in April or early May, juveniles appear in mid-May - June, and begin to fly in July. The Macqueen's Bustard eats bugs, locusts, fresh sprouts of sage-brush. It never visits water-places, probably it never drinks. Autumn migration occurs at night and begins in August, majority of birds leave in September - October, but some ones linger until November. Kazakhstan's Red Book.
"Птицы Казахстана" том 2, Алма-Ата, 1962.
Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.
Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.
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