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Alpine Swift

Apus melba (Linnaeus, 1758)

Белобрюхий стриж | Ақбауыр сұрқарлығаш

2012-05-05
Mangistau oblast. Kaundy.
© Andrey Kovalenko

Description

Adult Alpine Swift is dark-brownish above; chin, throat and belly are white; dark color of under-neck cross white underparts by broad dark collar. Undertail and underwings are brownish. In fresh plumage dark coverts have pale edges which formed scaly pattern. Wings are narrow and long, in non-flying positions wings are longer than tail. Wing form is 2>1>3. Outer tail feather are longer than central one on 15-25 mm, therefore tail is deep cut. Tarsus is slight but toes are strong and have sharp curved claws. Eyes, bill and legs are dark. Juveniles in first plumage are slightly paler, whitish edges of its feathers are more extended. Sizes: male wing 203-219.5, female wing 208-221, male tail 91-100, female tail 81-101, male bill 8.5-9, female bill 7-10, tarsus 15-18 mm. Male weight 71-100, female weight 81.5-115 gr. Generally females are larger than males.

Distribution

Alpine Swift breeds on low mountains and coastal steeps in southern part of Kazakhstan, north up to Mangyshlak, and south-western spurs of Dzhungarskiy Alatau. In said areas occurs on migration too. Vagrants recorded in lower reaches of Ural river 3 September 1974, near Orenburg, and large flock 16 April 1911 near Kapal village at foothills of Dzhungarskiy Alatau. At 26 May 2004 about 100 birds observed on Charyn river 5 km up from Aktogay.

Biology

Alpine Swift is rare breeding migrant. It inhabits chinks, caves, rocky gorges of low mountains, and rare villages (Taushik on Mangyshlak). It appears in early March - April, singly or in small flocks. Nests are built in cracks from pieces of grass, hair and feathers, pasted together by saliva. Clutches of 2-4 eggs in mid-May - early June. Both parents build nest and feed juveniles. Autumn migration passes from end August to late October.

Subspecies

Apus melba tuneti (Tschusi, 1904)

References

«Птицы Казахстана» под редакцией И.А.Долгушина, том 3, Алма-Ата, 1970. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.

supplement

subspecies

Apus melba tuneti
(Tschusi, 1904)

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