Kyzylkum desert. Southern Kazakhstan.
© Boris Gubin
Adult Upcher's Warbler are plain brownish-grey. Crown is slightly paler than mantle. Head-flanks are grayish. Eyebrow is whitish. Flight and tail feathers are pale-brownish with slightly notable whitish edges. Outer tail feathers are with broader edges and whitish terminal spots which vestiges are also slightly notable on second and third outer pairs. Throat, breast and belly are off-white grayish-buffy tinged. Underwings and axillaries are buffy-whitish. Upper mandible is brownish-horn, lower mandible is pale yellowish-horn, tarsus is pale-brownish, and eyes are brown. Juveniles in first plumage are similar to adults. Sizes: males - wing 78-80, tail 62-63, tarsus 19.3-22; females - wing 72-75, tail 60-71, tarsus 21.1-22.0 mm. Weight about 14 grams.
Upcher's Warbler breeds in southern Mangyshlak, in Kyzylkum desert (up to east border), and probably in Muyunkum desert. It is common on breeding in Malyy Karatau. On migration occurs in foothills of Talasskiy Alatau, in Dzhabagly settle (1-2 August 1998) and at Chokpak Pass.
Upcher's Warbler is common breeding migrant. It inhabits sandy hills and clay deserts with shrub patches, mountain slopes with scattered shrubs up to 1500-1800 m. On migration rare occurs in man-made forests. Appears in end April - mid-May. At Chokpak Pass one bird ringed 11 May 2000. It breeds in separate pairs up to several hundred meters one from another. Nest is built for a week in bush or in small tree at 0.5-2 m above ground from thin dry grass and bast, fastened by cobweb, and is lined with soft vegetation and fluff. Only female builds it, male escorts her. Clutches of 3-5 eggs is found from mid-May till early June. Female incubates for 12 days, sometimes male protects the eggs from overheating in midday. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge at 11-12 days old, in mid-June - early July. One brood per season, repeated breeding after losing of first clutch is common. Autumn migration is in August probably, as in early September no birds were observed on breeding areas.
"Птицы Казахстана" том 4. Алма-Ата, 1972.
Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.
Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Рябицев В. К., Ковшарь А. Ф., Ковшарь В. А., Березовиков Н. Н. «Полевой определитель птиц Казахстана», Алматы, 2014
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