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Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse

Pterocles alchata (Linnaeus, 1766)

Белобрюхий рябок | Ақбауыр бұлдырық
spring male

2009-04-03
Taikonyr, Southern Betpak-Dala
© Andrey Kovalenko

Description

Male Pin-tailed Sandgrous in spring plumage has brownish crown; forehead, supercilium and head-flanks are golden-yellow; eye-strip is black. Mantle, scapulars and lesser upperwing coverts are olive-brownish with large bright golden-yellow terminal spots. Uppertail and tail coverts are yellowish black-barred. Chin and throat are black. Fore-neck is yellow; craw and breast are buff-rusty bordered by narrow black. Belly and leg-feathers are white. Primaries are grey with brown inner webs and tips. Secondaries are grayish with brownish tips and narrow white fringes. Upperwing coverts are brownish with brown crescent spots edged by white strips; some of them are brownish with yellow-greenish tips and black fringes. Underwings are white. Tail is multileveled with very long and pointed central pair. Tail feathers are grey with yellowish cross-strips. Bill and legs are grey. Eyes are brownish. Males in summer plumage are yellowish above with black cross-strips. Head-flanks and neck-flanks are yellowish with brown spots and strips; throat is white. In winter plumage male have solid yellowish-greenish upperparts and white throat. Female in spring plumage have upperparts with rusty-yellow and brownish cross-strips; many feathers are with bright-yellow spots and with black edges. Head-flanks, fore-neck and neck-flanks are yellowish, throat is white. Craw is bordered by dark-brown narrow band in front and by grey one aback. Craw is rusty, breast and belly are white. Greater wing coverts are with yellow pre-terminal strips, lesser and median coverts are with white crescent spots and black tips. Female in winter plumage is distinguished by yellowish head-flanks and neck-flanks with dark-brown mottles. Young birds have yellowish upperparts with brown drop-shaped spots and yellow edges of feathers. Neck and craw are same but feather without yellow edges. Throat, breast and belly are white; with narrow brownish edges of feathers on belly. Flight feathers and its coverts are with whitish terminal edges. Sizes: wing 195-215, tarsus 26-31, bill 11-14 mm. Weight: 245-250 gr.

Distribution

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse former bred in southern parts of Kazakhstan, in north to lower reaches of Emba river, Northern Trans-Aral area, Dzhezdy mouth and Ile valley (eastward to Kurty river). Now it occupies deserts from Aral Sea to Karatau foothills near Kyzylkol lake, eastern border of Muyunkum desert, western and central Betpak-Dala, northward to 47 parallel. Since 1994 occurs along Taukum sands from Aksuek to Kanshengel, its number in this area increased. Dispersing birds recorded near Kamysh-Samar lakes (in August 1907), in upper reaches of Temir and lower reaches of Irgiz river, in Kurgaldzhino area. One bird was observed at Kolshengel 8 December 1995.

Biology

Pin-tailed Sandgrouse is common, in places rare breeding migrant. It inhabits sandy hilly deserts, with alternate clay and saline parts, not far from water-places. In spring Pin-tailed Sandgrouse appears in end of March to April. It breeds in colonies, at 10-30 m one pair from another. Nest is in shallow hole on sand or clay, usually under grass. Clutches of 3 eggs founded from early May to mid-August. Both parents incubate clutch and care for juveniles. Probably two broods per season. Pin-tailed Sandgrouse regularly flies to water; and on watering-places it occurs from late morning up to evening. At August Sandrouses join in large flocks, up to twenty thousand birds, and disperse on areas with plenty food. Autumn migration also begins in August, but majority of birds fly out in September till early October. But some Sandgouses linger until early November.

Subspecies

Pterocles alchata caudacutus (S.G.Gmelin, 1774)

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 2. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1962. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.

supplement

subspecies

Pterocles alchata caudacutus
(S.G.Gmelin, 1774)

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Pteroclidae

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