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Variable Wheatear

Oenanthe picata (Blyth, 1847)

Черная каменка | Қара тасшымшық
male opistholeuca

2016-06-04
Darbazasay, Southern Kazakhstan region
© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Distribution

Breeds in Kazakhstan only on extreme south, in Pistelitau and at Darbaza station near Tashkent. Vagrants recorded 10 August 1892 on Mangyshlak at Aktau (Zarudnyy, 1896), 11 July 1881 in upper course of Chingirlau river (Zarudnyy, 1888) and 5 July 1888 in Grebenskiye Mts. (Zarudnyy, 1897). A pair recorded on Ustyurd at end April 2003 (Karyakin et al., 2004).

Biology

Very rare breeding migrant. Inhabits dry desert mountains, and clayey soil and conglomerate precipices near rivers, clay house ruins. In spring arrives in March probably. Nest is built in rock cracks, precipice cavities, in old Rock Nuthatch nest from dry grass lined with shrub or grass bast and sometimes with hair and feathers. When in rock, small stones are placed under front of nest (its weight 193 g in one case). Probably only female builds it. Clutches of 4-8 eggs found in April – mid-June. Female incubates for 12 days. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge at 13-14 days old. Probably two broods. Autumn migration begins early, latest birds recorded in early September.

References

Рябицев В. К., Ковшарь А. Ф., Ковшарь В. А., Березовиков Н. Н. «Полевой определитель птиц Казахстана», Алматы, 2014. "Птицы Казахстана" том 3, "Наука", Алма-Ата, 1970. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.

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