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Caspian Plover

Charadrius asiaticus (Pallas, 1773)

Каспийский зуек | Сарысағақ шүрілдегі
summer male

2014-05-24
Kanshengel village, Almaty region
© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Description

The adult male of Caspian Plover in summer plumage have white forehead, lore, band over eye, cheeks, chin an throat. Crown, nape and all upperparts are sandy-brownish. Craw and fore-breast are rufous bottom-bordered by narrow black band; other underparts are white. Flight feather are blackish-brown, axillaries are white. Tail feathers are sandy-brownish as same colored back but outer feather are paler than other ones. Bill is black, legs are greenish-brown. Eyes are brown. Female is distinguished from male by color of craw which is not rufous but grayish-yellow; and by lack of black bottom-bordered band. Adult birds in winter plumage are with buffy edges of upperparts feathers; on craw there is brownish patch in place of rufous one; white parts of plumage are with pale-brownish tinge. Juveniles are similar to adults in winter plumage but upperparts feathers are with clear yellow edges. Sizes: wing 136-159 mm, bill 18 -24 mm. Weight: 63-91 gram.

Distribution

Caspian Plover breeds and occurs on migration in southern half of Kazakhstan, in north to lower reaches of Ilek river, Naurzum, Kurgaldzhino and Semipalatinsk, on Sasykkol lake and also in Zaysan depression. On Mangyshlak juvenile birds recorded near Fort Shevchenko (June 24 1957) and Eralievo (June 28 1957). In lower Sarysu river several birds ringed 8-9 September 1986.

Biology

Caspian Plover is common breeding migrant. It inhabits southern steppe, half-desert and desert zones, where prefer lightly saline soil areas with rare wormwood and other vegetation. Appears in pairs or small flocks of one-two dozen birds in mid-end March. Breeds in separate pairs, not far from water, but sometimes in 10-12 km off. Nest is built in shallow hole, lined with scanty grass, necessarily small stones or saline crust. Clutches of 3 eggs in early April - May. Both parents incubate (female at day-time, and male at night) and care for juveniles, which hatch in early May - June. Juveniles begin to fly in early June - early August. After breeding, birds join in flocks of up to one-two hundred and begin to disperse. Autumn migration observed from mid-end August and finishes in mid-September.

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 2. Алма-Ата, 1962.
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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