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Demoiselle Crane

Anthropoides virgo (Linnaeus, 1758)

Журавль-красавка | Ақбас тырна
adult

2017-05-11
Caspian depression
© Askar Isabekov

Distribution

Breeds in steppes and semi-deserts in north to Uralsk, Utva-Ilek interfluves, Kustanay steppes up to Russia border, Kokchetav steppes near Borovoye, Pavlodar Trans-Irtysh area and Bukhtarma valley nesr Berel village. In south breeds in Syugaty valley, southern coast of Kapchagay reservoir, Kopa station, lower current of Chu. On migration occurs everywhere, but most numerous in the northern foothills of Tien Shan and Dzhungar Alatau. The winter record (18 December 1991) in Aksu-Dzhabagly is very unusual.

Biology

Common breeding migrant. Inhabits the steppe and semi-desert plains and foothills often nearby the water, sometimes nests on cereal fields. In spring appears in March - early April. The mass migration occurs in foothills of Western Tien Shan on Chokpak Pass where flocks of several hundred to one thousand birds fly by both in day and in night, in total more than 15 thousands Cranes per season every year (in 2002 more than 33000). Most of birds were observed from 1st to 20th April, and latest birds were seen in mid-May though in other regions the migration lasts until the end of May. Breeds in separate pairs not close one to other. Nest is located on bare ground or on ground with scarce vegetation and some small stones. Clutch of 1-3, usually 2 eggs is laid in end of April – May. Female incubates for about one month from the laying of the first egg, male guards the territory up to 1.5 km around the nest. Chicks hatch in the end of May – June, both parents care for the offspring. Juveniles begin to fly in the end of July to August. Autumn migration begins from the end of August when broods join in flocks, and is not as impressive as in spring. Some flocks fly through mountains, no more than 80-100 specimens were counted in each flock. On Kyzylkol lake the unusual gathering of about 12 thousand Demoiselle Cranes staying to rest was observed at September 7-8, 2005. At Chokpak Pass, latest autumn birds recorded in end of October.

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.

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