© Boris Gubin
The Rufous Bush Robin is a little bird same on Northern Wheatear in size. Upperparts of Rufous Bush Robin are grayish-brown tinged with buff. Rump is rufous, central tail feathers are brownish-grey, other ones are bright-rufous with blackish-brown terminal band and white tip. Tail is heavy rounded and multi-level. Throat, breast and abdomen are whitish. It has a prominent whitish eye-stripe, a brown sharp bill, yellowish-brown legs and red eyes. All plumages are similar. The juveniles are a few differ from the adults by the more significant rufous tinge.
The Rufous Bush Robin breeds and also migrates in deserts of the south half of Kazakhstan in the north to lower course of Emba river, northern edge of Karakum desert adjacent to Aral Sea, Betpak-Dala and Southern Trans-Balkhash area between Ile and Karatal deltas. On migration it occasionally observed in foothills of Western Tien Shan at Chokpak Pass. Vagrant recorded 31 May 1984 in Kurgaldzhino.
The Rufous Bush Robin is common, in places rare breeding migrant. It inhabits deserts and steppes with bush thickets, saxaul groves or old saxaul forests with dead trees, shrubby edges of riparian forests; nests also on salines with individual bushes. On migration it visits forest belts and bushes in low mountains. It appears in the end April – early May. After an arrival males sing a lot. A song is difficult enough, sometimes melodious, a faint resemblance to a song of a Nightingale, therefore this bird is also named on Russian “Tugai Nightingale”. The Rufous Bush Robin breeds in separate pairs at 150-850 m one from another. The nest is built on the ground under the bush, or in the bush up to 1 m above the ground. Either both partners or female only build nest from thin twigs, rootlets and line it with hair, vegetal fluff and thin grass. Clutch of 3-5 eggs is in first decade of May – early July. Only female incubates for 10-13 days. Both parents feed hatchlings. The juveniles fledge at 9-12 days old in the mid-June – early August. Per season the one brood is probable and the long breeding period is explained by the second nesting after the losing of the first brood (after aggression from Monitors, Corsacs, Foxes, Weasels, Grass-snakes, Brown-necked Ravens, Southern Grey Shrikes). The Rufous Bush Robin eats mostly little beetles, caterpillars, ants. The autumn migration is in August, the latest migrating birds recorded in the early September.
|Cercotrichas galactotes familiaris (Menetries, 1832)|
Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. "Жизнь Животных" том 5. Птицы. Москва. "Просвещение", 1970. А.Ф.Ковшарь "Певчие птицы". Алма-Ата, "Кайнар", 1983.
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