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Bimaculated Lark

Melanocorypha bimaculata (Menetries, 1832)

Двупятнистый жаворонок | Қостеңбелді бозторғай

2010-05-31
Northern Karatau foothills
© Askar Isabekov

Description

The adult Bimaculated Larks are buffy-grey brownish streaked above. The crown is grayish-buffy with narrow brownish streaks. The off-white supercilium extends over the ear coverts. The dark narrow dark strip begins from the low mandible base and borders the eye below. The ear coverts are brown. The nape, mantle and upperwings are buffy-grey brownish streaked. The uppertail is same but without streaks. The flight feathers are brownish with off-white tips of the outer webs of primaries. The tail feathers excepting central are dark-brownish with white terminal spots; central tail feathers are narrow grey-brownish ended. The throat is off-white. There are two black broad patches on the craw-sides. The breast, belly and flanks are whitish-grey. The breast is with dark mottles. It is very resembles the Calandra Lark and is distinguished by the lack of the white terminal band on the wing and white outer tail feathers. The black patches on the craw-sides are usually less than on Calandra Lark; the breast often without mottles. Then the underwings are dark but not as black as on Calandra Lark. Sizes: males – wing 111,0-123,9, tail 52,5-63,8; females – wing 107,2-115,6, tail 50,2- 59,6 mm. Weight 48,2-62,5 grams.

Distribution

The Bimaculated Lark breeds and occurs on migration in the southern half of Kazakhstan, in north to the upper valley of Emba, Dzhezkazgan, Norther Trans-Balkhash area, Ayaguz river valley, southern part of Zaysan depression (where one juvenile recorded on 28 July 2001). Summer records on 18 June 1975 are known from Kurgaldzhino.

Biology

The Bimaculated Lark is common, in places numerous or rare, breeding migrant. Inhabits crushed clay stone deserts with poor vegetation, stony slopes with low grass, wormwood/grass and wormwood/fescue steppes on plains and in foothills up to 1700-2000m. During migration shows a preference for stubble fields and tracks. Appears from end of February to early March, most migrating in March in flocks of several dozens. Migration finishes late March to early April. Breeds in separate pairs, not far apart. Nest is built on the ground in a shallow scrape under a grass shelter and is made from dry grass and rootlets. Clutches of 3-6, more often of 4-5 eggs, is laid from mid April to late June. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge late May to early July. Repeated breeding after nest loss probably occurs. Autumn migration begins in late August, most birds departing between the second half of September and mid October; the last flocks generally recorded late October to early November.

Subspecies

Melanocorypha bimaculata torquata (Blyth, 1847)

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 3. "Наука". 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. А.Ф.Ковшарь "Певчие птицы". Алма-Ата, "Кайнар", 1983.

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subspecies

Melanocorypha bimaculata torquata
(Blyth, 1847)

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