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Whinchat

Saxicola rubetra (Linnaeus, 1758)

Луговой чекан | Жағал шақшақ
male

2015-04-23
Tupkaragan, Mangystau.
© Aisagali Kadirov

Description

The Whinchat is a short-tailed, dapper, less than sparrow bird. In all plumages it has rufous breast and strong white supercilium. Spring male has dark almost black mask and white or buffish supercilium. There are white wing patches. Female has light mask, and upperparts lighter than male. Female distinguishes on Stonechat female by strong light supercilium, slimmer constitution, lesser round head; by absent of the lightening on the rump and uppertail; by the white patches on the tail base's sides which is well seen on alighting; in flight the white spots on the shoulders are well appreciable. Juveniles in first plumage are similar to female and have a lot of round light spots on the back and wing coverts, and have dark spots on the underparts. Autumn makes and juveniles are similar to females. There are specific characters to fan the tail and to bow. Weight 14-22 grams, length about 12-13, wing 7,3-8,1, wingspan 21-24 cm.

Distribution

Breeds in the middle and lower currents of Ural river south up to Budarino, in the north of Aktobe, in Kokchetav upland (Kokchetav, Borovoye, Troitskoye), and also in Naurzum Reserve. At June 10-12 1956 the pair was observed in Karaganda area on inflow of the Nura river. A brood recorded 3 July 1998 at Belaya Uba river valley. On migration occurs to the south from Volga-Ural area up to Irtysh valley at Semipalatinsk and Ust-Kamenogorsk, Alakol' depression, Almaty, lower of Sarysu river and Karatau.

Biology

Common breeding migrant, in places rare passage migrant. Inhabits wet meadows with bushes and height grass, edges of deciduous forest and clearings with verdure. On the migration visits open country only. Appears in mid – end April in loose flocks up to 30 birds, migration finishes in mid – end May. Breeds in separate pairs. Nest is built on ground under grass from dry grass and is lined with thin grass and some hair. Clutches of 4-7 eggs in mid-May. Juveniles fledge in end June – early July. Autumn migration starts in late July, the majority of birds leaves in August – early September. Latest records in mid – end September.

References

В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург, Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.
Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.
Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.
А.Ф.Ковшарь "Певчие птицы". Алма-Ата, "Кайнар", 1983.

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