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Willow Ptarmigan

Lagopus lagopus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Белая куропатка | Аққұр
spring male

2011-05-07
North Kazakhstan area
© Andrey Krasnikov

Distribution

Breeds in Northern Kazakhstan and highlands of Altai and Saur. Please see detailed distribution in Kazakhstan in section Subspecies.

Biology

Rare, locally common resident. Inhabits the birch-asp groves, hummocky marshes with willow bushes; riparian forests (L.l.major); and alpine meadows with pygmy birch thickets (L.l.brevirostris) at altitudes 1300-2700 m. Breeds in separate pairs, which are formed in end of February - March, but most of the year lives in flocks of 30-80 birds. Nest is located in shallow hole on the ground under the bush or grass; close (50-100 m) to grove or inside it; nest is lined with the thin twigs and grass, but sometimes without anything. Clutch of 9-12 eggs is laid during May. Only female incubates clutch during 18 days from the laying of last egg, male guards nearby. Chicks hatch in May - June, and both parent rear them a long time. L.l.brevirostris breeds some later. Clutches found in end of May to mid-June, juveniles hatch in late June or in early July.

Subspecies

Lagopus lagopus major (Lorenz, 1904)

    Description. Black on upper parts is well prominent, sated. Black on centres of feathers is well prominent too. Cross bars are pale, from pale-rusty to whitish. Feathers of upper parts are with broad white or whitish terminal band. Upper parts are motley-patterned. Craw and breast pale-rusty. Wing length: males 208-235 (224), females 208-222 (215) mm; bill: males 11-13 (12.4), females 11.3-12.2 (11.8) mm.
    Distribution. Breeds in forest steppes of Northern Kazakhstan on east to foothills of Western Altai. At once the pair was recorded at Ural valley near Budarino village (11 June 1950). Disappears from Naurzum Reserve in mid 1960-th; the southern border of breeding range moved to north on more than 150 km. In winter sometimes occurs at Kurgaldzhino village; at once the flock was observed in January 25, 1982 near Urdzhar.

Lagopus lagopus brevirostris (Hesse, 1912)

    Description. Black on upper parts has sated tone. Cross bars are narrow, dense and light, from yellowish to whitish. Black on craw and breast is more developed than in major. Wing length: males 187-216 (205), females 182-208 (193) mm, bill: males 8.5-11.4 (10.3), females 7.5-10.5 (9.4) mm.
    Distribution. Breeds in highlands of Southwest Altai, from 1300 up to 2700 m, where autumn-winter dispersion took place too. The isolated population found in Saur ridge.

References

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.

supplement

subspecies

Lagopus lagopus major
(Lorenz, 1904)
information gallery
Lagopus lagopus brevirostris
(Hesse, 1912)
information gallery

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