basic information

Northern Black Grouse

Tetrao tetrix (Linnaeus, 1758)

Тетерев | Құр

Serebrjansk, Eastern Kazakhstan
© Serg Silan


Breeds in northern parts of Kazakhstan from Ural valley eastward to Altai Mountains, and also in the mountains of South-Eastern Kazakhstan. Please see the detailed distribution in the section Subspecies.


Rare, in places common resident. Inhabits riparian woods, deciduous (birch, oak, elm, aspen and other) and coniferous groves with shrubs, both on plains and in mountains up to 1900 m on Altai and 2500 m in Zailiyskiy Alatau. Spring displaying (up to one hundred males) begins in March (on plains) or in April (in mountains), and continues up to the end of May or early June. Nest is built by female usually near mating place, under shelter in shallow hole lined with grass and moss. Clutches of 4-12 eggs in mid-April – end June. Only female incubates for 19-25 days and cares of juveniles, which hatch in early June – mid-July. In August – September birds joined in flocks (males separate from females), and then fly to cereal stubble fields for food (when available) and to forests to roost for safety and security.


Tetrao tetrix viridanus (Lorenz, 1891)

    Description. White wing-bar is wide. White colour developed on inner primaries. Metal gloss has greenish-bluish tinge, in populations eastward from Irtysh river valley gloss is mainly bluish – dark blue tinge. Tertials and greater coverts in definitive plumage have faintly spotted pattern. General colour of female is lighter, more buffy and greyish, less rusty than mongolicus. Dark morph with prevalence of brown tones rarely occurs. Male wing length 250-282 (268), female 225-250 (239) mm.
    Distribution. Breeds in northern plains of Kazakhstan from Ural river valley up to foothills of Altai and in Kalbinskiy Altai. The southern border distribution known badly. Observed in Kyzyltau Mts. near Zhaman-Dalba, in Kazakh Upland nests south up to Ulytau and Zheltau. Between Altai, Tarbagatay ridge and Chingiztau intergrades with mongolicus.

Tetrao tetrix mongolicus (Lonnberg, 1904)

    Description. White wing-bar is a little narrower than viridanus. Metal gloss is dark blue with purple or pink tinge. General colour of female is somewhat darker than viridanus; in upper parts dim-brown shades well developed, black streaks are fainter than in viridanus. A median under part some darker; whitish feather-tips on upper parts faintly developed, grey shade also developed fainter than viridanus. Male wing length 273-296 (277), female 242-263 (250) mm.
    Distribution. Breeds in Tien Shan, Dzhungarskiy Alatau, Tarbagatay and Saur ridges, in Kalbinskiy Altai and Southwest Altai.


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.



Tetrao tetrix viridanus
(Lorenz, 1891)
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Tetrao tetrix mongolicus
(Lonnberg, 1904)
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