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Mute Swan

Cygnus olor (Gmelin, 1789)

Лебедь-шипун | Сыбырлақ аққу
adult

2006-06-12
Kirovskoe Lake, Akjaik region, West Kazakhstan oblast
© Askar Isabekov

Distribution

Breeds and migrates practically everywhere on the steppes of Kazakhstan. On 7 November 1973, four birds recorded in highlands (Bolshoye Almatinskoye Lake). Winters on Northern Caspian Sea, Mangyshlak. During mild winters observed on Aral Sea near Barsa-Kelmes island; occasionally to the south of Turkestan and Chimkent.

Biology

Common breeding migrant. Inhabits fresh and salty lakes with reed beds and reed mace. Appears end February – early March in southern areas, and end March – early April in the North. Migration continues to mid-May. Breeds in separate pairs up to 500-1500 m. Large nest built in reed or mace beds in shallow water from dry reed stems. The inner cup is not particularly lined although some pieces of water grass and down appear in nests during incubation. Clutches of 3-7 eggs in mid-April – early May, sometimes earlier; and towards the end June, which can be replacement clutches. Female mostly incubates, male may sit for short periods. Juveniles hatch end May - June and begin to fly in August – September, and sometimes only at end of October. Adults moult while tending the brood, immature birds moult in flocks of several hundred on large lakes. Autumn migration lasts from end August – September to mid – end October or even to mid December, depending on when lakes begin to freeze. Adults with offspring leave together. Huge concentrations in shallow waters of Northern Caspian Sea in autumn. Birds ringed at Kurgaldzhino Lakes were found in winter on Caspian Sea (Kara-Bogaz-Gol, Dagestan), at Kabardino-Balkariya and at Kherson Region and Krym, Black Sea.

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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