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basic information

Grey Heron

Ardea cinerea (Linnaeus, 1758)

Серая цапля | Көкқұтан
adult

2011-06-11
Ekpindy vicinity, Enbekshikazakh region, Almaty oblast
© Gennadiy Dyakin

Distribution

Inhabits waters throughout the plains of Kazakhstan, in a small number winters to south from Turkestan and Shymkent, 5 birds recorded on Sorbulak lake 15 December 2002. On dispersal and migration occasionally visits mountain lakes (Markakol).

Biology

Common, in places abundant breeding migrant. Inhabits waters with reed-beds, tree-bush vegetation and shallow water. In spring arrives very early, in time when the waters are still ice-covered and the snow is still deep; in the end of February – March in the southern Kazakhstan, and in mid–end April in the northern areas. Migrates singly or in small flocks, which rarely consist of up to 50 birds. Nests in separate pairs or in colonies to 200-300 nests, usually together with Cormorants, White Egrets or other Herons. Breeding begins in early April – early May. Bulky nests are built by both partners on the trees, bushes (Russian Olive, Asiatic Poplar, Willow) at height 6-10 m above the ground, from the dry twigs, and are lined with some grass; in another case nests are located in reed-beds, built from the dry reed stems and leaves at height 0.2-0.8 m above the water. Clutch of 2-6, usually 4-5 eggs is produced in early April – early June. Both parents incubate for 26-27 days and feed nestlings which hatch in early May – early June, and begin to fly from end May to end July. Autumn migration begins in end of August – early September and finishes at early – mid-October in northern areas. In southern Kazakhstan migration passes to early – mid-November.

Subspecies

Ardea cinerea cinerea (Linnaeus, 1758)

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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subspecies

Ardea cinerea cinerea
(Linnaeus, 1758)

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Ardeidae

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