basic information


Corvus frugilegus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Грач | Таған

Samal, Almaty
© Aibek Adilmagambetov


It inhabits most of Europe and Asia. In Kazakhstan the Rook nests almost the entire territory. More detailed distribution in Kazakhstan, please see in Subspecies section.


Abundant breeding migrant and common winter visitor. Inhabits the edges of riparian, deciduous and mixed forests near the open lands; the groves, shelterbelts, trees in towns and villages; more rare lives in bushy thickets around the water in open landscapes; prefers vicinity of cultivated areas with cereal fields on plains and in foothills. Several colonies of pastinator found in Altai at 1450-1600 m. During migration and wintering occurs in towns, villages, on stubble fields, meadows and hayfields. Very gregarious species, most of the year lives in flocks numbering from several dozen to thousand birds, gathering in thousands at the roost sites. Spring migration begins in late February – early March, with arriving of most birds in first half of April; the last birds (second-years or non-breeding individuals) flies by Chokpak Pass in mid May. Breeds in colonies from 10 to 50 000 pairs which settled in March – April, sometimes together with breeding Great Cormorant, Grey Heron and Night Heron. Nest is located on tree (willow, elm, poplar, birch, pine or asp), in bush (russian olive, willow, honeysuckle, dogrose) at height 0.5-20 m above the ground or as an exclusion even on reeds; often close to other nests (e.g. up to 50 nests on one tree). Both partners repair an old nest or build new one from twigs and lined it with dry grass and some hair. Clutch of 3-6 eggs is laid in mid April – early May. Female incubates clutch while male bring the food to her and to the juveniles in first few days after hatching. Later both parents feed juveniles which fledge in end of May – mid June. Repeated breeding attempts after the first clutch loss are common. Autumn migration begins in mid – late September, most birds depart in October.


Corvus frugilegus frugilegus (Linnaeus, 1758)

    Description. Bill is longer and thicker than on pastinator. The area of bare skin around the bill is more extensive and extends onto the forehead, lores, part of the ear coverts and gular area. The upperparts have a metallic violet sheen.
    Distribution. Breeding in northern half of Kazakhstan, in south to Caspian Sea, Emba valley near Temir mouth, Barbikum and Tusum sands, lower Turgay river and Kurgaldzhino area. It also nests along Irtysh valley, in foothill plains of eastern and south-eastern Kazakhstan, on Syrdarya and Chu valleys near Furmanovka settlement. Small colony found in Sharapkhana village, south of Karjantau ridge. During wandering and migration occurs everywhere both on plains and in mountains. Wintering in southern Kazakhstan, in north to Chapaevo village on Ural valley, Kurgaldzhino and Semipalatinsk. In mild winters, observed on Barsa-Kelmes island.

Corvus frugilegus pastinator (Gould, 1845)

    Description. Bill is shorter and slimmer than on frugilegus. The mask of facial skin is less extensive, covering the forehead, lores and occasionally part of the ear coverts. Upperparts have a greenish sheen.
    Distribution. Breeding in Southern Altai in larch woods at Markakol lake and on poplar and birch forests near Katon-Karagay settlement. It probably occur on migration in southern and south-eastern Kazakhstan.


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



Corvus frugilegus frugilegus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
information gallery
Corvus frugilegus pastinator
(Gould, 1845)

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Анна Ясько: Объединила и немного сделала посветлее. Стало видно некоторые детали: светлый зашеек, светлая полоса на крыле, хвост темный, но на надхвостье


Николай Балацкий: Анна, согласен, что на этом мелком снимке концы рулевых не видно. Поэтому, чтобы не гадать и не казалось и точно заметить разницу в длине рулевых,


Сергей Л. Волков: Константин, если вы слышали действительно песню (она короткая у обоих видов зарничек), то с помощью голосовых сайтов легко отличите зарничку

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