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Sociable Lapwing

Chettusia gregaria (Pallas, 1771)

Кречетка | Тарғақ
summer male

2009-03-26
Area to East from Karyktau hummock
© Andrey Kovalenko

Description

Adult male of Sociable Lapwing in breeding plumage has brownish-grey mantle, craw and upper-breast. Crown, lores and eye-strip are black. Forehead and supercilium are white or cream, throat and cheeks are whitish. Bottom-breast is black, abdomen is rusty. Uppertail coverts and rump are white. Primaries are black, the inner primaries are white-tipped. Secondaries and axillaries are white. Outer tail feathers are all white, rest tail feathers are white with broad black terminal band. Bill and legs are black, eyes are dark-brownish. The summer female is distinguished from the male by the brownish black-mottled crown; the belly spots are less neat, not black and rusty but smoky and chestnut colors often with some white feathers. In winter the plumage of adult birds is dimmer; crown is brownish, upperpart feathers are with pale terminal tips, the spots on breast are faint brownish-grey; rest underparts are off-white. Juveniles are brownish-grey above with pale-buff edges of feathers; crown is dark brown; underparts are whitish with faint dark spots on craw and breast.

Distribution

Breeds in northern plains of Kazakhstan, in south to Volga-Ural interfluve sands and Sorochinsk village on Ural river, Donguztau gorge on Ustyurt, Aral Sea, upper reaches of Sarysu river, Kalbinskiy Altai and Ayaguz. Two broods recorded 21 June 2003 near Kanchengel. One bird observed on Kamennoe lake near Chokpak Station where 3 birds were recorded on September 20, 2000; and one bird was noticed on reservoir near Kopa station on September 6, 2001. On dispersal and migration occurs everywhere.

Biology

Rare breeding migrant. Inhabits the dry steppes and semi-deserts with the patches of saline soils and sparse vegetation, usually near water (not far than 1-2 km). In spring arrives by small flocks of one-two dozen birds from the mid-March, mostly in April – early May. Breeds in separate pairs, or in loose colonies of 10-15 pairs at distance 50-150 m one from another. Nest is shallow hole which is usually lined with the dry grass, sheep droppings or pebbles, but sometimes without anything. Clutches of 2-5 (usually 4) eggs is produced from end of April to early June. Repeated nesting after loss of first clutch is not rare. Both parents (but mostly female) incubate for 17-21 days and care for juveniles which hatch from the end of May to mid-June and begin to fly in end June – July. Broods join in flocks numbering up to one hundred and more birds and begin to disperse. Autumn migration begins from early August. The latest records apply to September 20th (Naurzum), October 10th (near Kazalinsk), October 15th (close to Tashkent ).

References

«Птицы Казахстана» том 2. Издательство Академии Наук Казахской ССР. Алма-Ата, 1972.
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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Степная пигалица

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