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Eurasian Dipper

Cinclus cinclus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Обыкновенная оляпка | Кәдімгі сушылқара
adult

2010-05-05
Little Almaty gorge, Ile Alatau National Park
© Askar Isabekov

Description

The Eurasian Dipper is a water-living Thrush-sized bird with a dense constitution, short wings and tail. The adult male and female have dark-brown upper head, neck and fore part of the back. The rear part of the back is grey with scaly pattern not visible from a distance. The uppertail are grey with the slightly brown tone. The coloring of the underparts of the different subspecies large varies from the almost white to brownish. The flanks are brownish grey tinged; the flight and tail feathers are brownish-grey. Male and female are similar. The seasonal differences of plumage are absent. Juveniles on upperparts are lighter than adults, brownish-grey with expressive scaly pattern formed by the dark-brownish edges on the wing coverts; the light color of the throat and abdomen are also with dark scaly pattern from the throat to undertail. In autumn the juveniles are similar on adults. The Dipper flies rapidly and straight, low on water. Weight 50-85 grams, length17-20, male wing 9,2-10,1, female wing - 8,2-9,1, wingspan 25-30 cm.

Distribution

In Kazakhstan the Eurasian Dipper in large number lives in Tien Shan, Dzhungarsky Alatau, Tarbagatai and Altai. The detailed distribution in Kazakhstan please see in the chapter "Races".

Biology

The Eurasian Dipper is common resident. It inhabits rapid mountain steams and rivers with rocks and stones, preferring smaller streams with bankside trees or shrubs, at 1200-2800 m in Tien Shan ridges (but at 600-1500 m in Karatau) and at 1000-2200 m in Altai. In winter it occurs on plains in unfrozen water (including springs and ice-holes), departing these areas in March – early April, or in late April in Altai. It breeds separately at least 100 m one from another. Nest is built in the rock or bank cavity, among the roots, on the big stones along the river, under the bridges, or often in the rocky ledges behind the waterfalls. Both partners build it from the moss mixed with grass and rootlets, and lines it with dry grass and leaves, for one or two weeks. Clutches of 4-7 (often 5) eggs found in April – early July. Female incubates for 15-17 days, male sometimes feed it. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge at 23-25 days between late May and late July. One brooded, but in Talasskiy Alatau some pairs may be double brooded. Repeated breeding after the nest losing is common (up to three attempts recorded). It extracts the food, diving in water. Thus it opens the wings so that a current pressed them to a bottom. It eats the larvae of the water insects, also catches the floating invertebrates. Willingly picks the food near the water, on the coast, stones, among the seaweed. Autumn movements starts in September – early October.

Subspecies

Cinclus cinclus leucogaster (Bonaparte, 1850)

    Description. The underparts (the throat, breast, and abdomen) are white. Some specimens in fresh plumage have slightly cream tinge on the abdomen. The rear part of the back and the rump are slaty with light brown tinge.
    Distribution. Breeds in Tien Shan and Karatau, Dzhungarskiy Alatau and Tarbagatay, where it intergrades with baicalensis. In winter it descends to adjacent plains and lower areas; occurs in Chu river and Chu-Iliyskiye Mts.

Cinclus cinclus baicalensis (Dresser, 1892)

    Description. It is present the fact of the different plumage color morphs, it is possible to separate the following types of coloring:
    1. Taxonomically identical with leucogaster.
    2. Leucogaster type, but the white color of the underparts is darkened by an different rate of the brown or rusty-brownish tones. The rate of increase the rusty-brownish color on the underparts directly correlates to the rate of increase the rusty-brownish tones and decrease of slate tones (distinctive to leucogaster) on the back and rump.
    3. Caucasicus type (the throat and breast are white, fore and middle parts of abdomen are greyish-brown) but differs by more considerable distribution of greyish-brown color on upperparts (the brown color is extended on the fore and middle parts of a back; rump is not slate-brownish as on caucasicus, but slate-brown) and decrease of brown tones on underparts.
    4. As type 3 but more or less considerable darkness of the throat and breast by brownish tones. In extreme expression of this character the throat and the breast are almost dark as well as abdomen, differing only by slightly lighter color.
    Distribution. Breeds in Saur and south-western Altai. In Tarbagatay it intergrades with leucogaster. In summer recorded in Monrak ridge along Kyzyl-Gain river. In winter recorded along Irtysh river up to Semipalatinsk.

References

Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. "Птицы Казахстана" том 3. Алма-Ата, "Наука" КазССР. 1970. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург, Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000. А.Ф.Ковшарь "Певчие птицы". Алма-Ата, "Кайнар", 1983.

supplement

subspecies

Cinclus cinclus leucogaster
(Bonaparte, 1850)
information gallery
Cinclus cinclus baicalensis
(Dresser, 1892)
information gallery

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