Mynzhilki, Ile-Alatau National Park
© Gennadiy Dyakin
Adult Himalayan Accentor in breeding plumage have brownish-grey crown and neck, clay-rufous back with clear black streaks. Rump is brownish-grey, uppertail is buffy-brown. Ear coverts are dark-brown. Chin and throat are white black mottled. Breast and flanks are rusty-brown with off-white streaks formed by pale edges of each feather. Middle-belly is off-white; undertail is brownish-black with broad off-white edges, which often hid dark part of featers. Flight feathers are dark-brown with narrow pale edges on outer webs. Lesser upperwing coverts are very-brownish, median and greater coverts of secondaries are black-brown with white terminal spots or edges; greater coverts of primaries are black-brown. Tail feathers are dark-brown; inner webs of tail feathers except central pair have large white terminal patch. Legs are flesh-yellow, claws are black-brown. Bill is black, eyes are dark-brown. In fresh plumage after autumn moulting edges are well developed. Juvenile birds have buffy-brownish crown, neck and uppertail; black buffy-rusty streaked back. Underparts are off-white with dark streaks on throat, craw and on flanks; and with buffy tinge on craw and flanks. Flight feathers and greater coverts are with rusty-clay edges, broader on last secondaries. Legs are pale-yellow, claws and bill are horny colour. Sizes: males - wing 86-96; females wing - 83-89.5 mm. Weight: 24.5-32 gr.
Himalayan Accentor breeds in highlands of Tien Shan, Dzhungarskiy Alatau, Tarbagatay, Saur and southwest Altai. It migrates through mountains, one only autumn record in Almaty Botanical garden. Records on lower Turgay river (October 10 1986), on Alakol lake (September 20 1987) and on Sorbulak lake (September 16 1985) are unexplicable.
Himalayan Accentor is common, in places rare, breeding migrant (or probably resident). It inhabits alpine meadows with rocks and some juniper bushes; boulder fields; moraines near glaciers; small meadow patches; or low juniper bushes with rocks and meadow patches at 2700-3500 m in Tien Shan and high than 2100 m in Altai. It arrives in breeding areas in first half of April - early May in flocks of 50-100 birds. Pairs breed separately at distance more than 100 m one from another. Well concealed nest is built by female on ground under stone or bush, or in tussock; nest is made from dry grass, rootlets and moss, sometimes lined with hair. Clutches of 3-7 eggs founded in late May - late July. Only female incubates for 13 days. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge in late June - early September. Long breeding cycle of this species can be explained by double brooding, though this is not proved jet. Autumn migration probably occurs in August and September. Last birds in highlands recorded in mid - late September. There is one winter record of 4 birds at 1500 m in Talasskiy Alatau (February 04 1964).
"Птицы Казахстана" том 4. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1972. 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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