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Song Thrush

Turdus philomelos (C.L. Brehm, 1831)

Певчий дрозд | Әуезшіл сайрақ

2014-10-13
Kuryk. Mangystau oblast.
© Askar Isabekov

Description

The adult Song Thrush in summer has grayish-brown upperparts, buffy tinged on the head and greyer on the uppertail. The upperwing coverts, flight feathers and tail feathers are dark-brown olive-rust tinged. The tips of greater and median coverts have light (sometimes white) spots. The underwing coverts are yellowish-buff. The bases of the inner webs of flight feathers are light-rusty. The underparts are white with roundish or drop-shaped spots on the flanks of throat, on craw, breast, flanks and abdomen. The chin and undertail are white without spots. The beak is blackish-brown, legs are yellowish. After the autumn molting it looks darker. The upperparts are dark, olive-brown; the underparts has buffy tinge, becoming richer on the craw. The Juveniles are similar on adults but have the rusty-tinged upperparts with buffy streaks. The greater wing coverts with rusty terminal spots. The spots on the underparts are less then on adults. The buffy underwings are in all plumages. The Song Thrush is wild bird and it's not always possible to discern it. The similar species are the Redwing and the Mistle Thrush. But it is distinguished from the Redwing by the absence of the strong white supercilium, red flanks, and doesn't show the red underwing in flight. From the Mistle Thrush it is distinguished by the much less size and the dark olive color of upperparts. Weight 65-90 grams, length 21-25, wing 10,9-12,4, wingspan 34-39 cm.

Distribution

Breeds in Western and Southern Altai (in Zyryanovsk area, Malaya Ulba valley, in north of Ridder; and also in Bukhtarma valley, Ivanovskiy ridge and on Markakol lake). Near Borovoye the brood of well flying young birds observed. The indication about the breeding in valley of middle current of Ural river "between Orenburg and Uralsk" is not confirmed by subsequent researches. On migration occurs throughout, from Volga-Ural area and Mangyshlak eastward to Zaysan and Alakol depressions and Chokpak Pass in foothills of Western Tien Shan. One bird shot in Kyzylkum desert 9 October 1973.

Biology

The Song Thrush is rare breeding migrant, in some places common passage migrant. It inhabits the mixed and light forests in foothills up to 1200 m, on migration visits the deciduous and riparian forests, groves, gardens, forest-belts, shrub thickets. It appears in April singly or in small flocks, migration finishes in early May. It breeds in separate pairs. The nest is built for 5-7 days by the female mostly (with male's help) in the tree on 1-8 m (usually 2-3 m) above the ground. Nest is built from the thin twigs, lichen, moss, dry grass; the inside part of nest is well plastered by the clay and soil. Clutches of 5-7 eggs is in end April – early June. Only female incubates for 11-12 days. Both parents feed juveniles fledged at 14-16 days old, in early June – July. In summer it eats and feeds the nestlings by brandlings, small land mollusks, beetles, caterpillars, spiders; it pick up the food almost from the ground not only in the forest but on open places too. Eats different berries and brings it to young birds. Picks up the seeds. Autumn migration in small flocks of 2-3 dozen birds starts in mid – end September and continues until end October – mid November. The majority of the birds migrate through Ural River valley, but two birds were ringed at Chokpak Pass on April 19 1987 and October 24 2004.

Subspecies

Turdus philomelos philomelos (C.L. Brehm, 1831)

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 3. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1970. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург, Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.

supplement

subspecies

Turdus philomelos philomelos
(C.L. Brehm, 1831)

synonyms

Turdus philomelos planiceps
(Hemprich et Enrenberg, 1833)
Turdus philomelos bragi
(Kleinschmidt, 1903)
Turdus philomelos distinctus
(Zarudny, 1918)
Turdus philomelos nataliae
(Buturlin, 1929)

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