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Alpine Accentor

Prunella collaris (Scopoli, 1769)

Альпийская завирушка | Сұржон содырғы

2011-12-16
Kimasar gorge. Ile Alatau National Park.
© Askar Isabekov

Description

Adult Alpine Accentor in breeding plumage have grayish-brown upperparts with dark-brown longitudinal streaks on back and rump. There is small rufous patch on shoulders. Chin and throat are off-white or white with black-brownish cross streaks, formed by terminal tips of each feather. Craw, middle-breast and belly are grayish-brown, breast-flanks and belly-flanks are rufous-brown. Undertail is brown with broad pale edges on each feather. Flight feathers are dark-brown; lesser upperwing coverts are grayish-brown; median and greater coverts of secondaries are black with white tips; greater coverts of secondaries and alula are black-brown with narrow white terminal edges. Tail feathers are dark-brown; inner webs of tail feathers (exclude central pair) have large white terminal spots. Legs are pinkish-yellow, claws are dark-brown. Upper mandible is dark-brown, low mandible is yellow dark tipped. Eyes are pale-brown. In fresh plumage after autumn moulting the upperparts have well expressed buffy tone; cross streaks on throat are larger. Juveniles are brownish-grey above, with not clear streaks on back; underparts are buffy-brownish with off-white bases of craw feathers. Flight feathers are dark-brown with narrow clay-rusty edges on outer webs; last secondaries have broad edges; last feathers have large white spots. Upperwing coverts as on adults. Sizes: males - wing 95-101; females - wing 91-96 mm. Weight: 25-35 gr.

Distribution

Alpine Accentor lives in alpine-belt of mountains of South-Eastern and probably Eastern Kazakhstan. The detailed distribution in Kazakhstan please see in the chapter "Subspecies".

Biology

Alpine Accentor is rare resident. It inhabits alpine belt of rocks; boulder fields near moraines and glaciers, down to upper shrub-belt; at 2800-4000 m in Tien Shan. In winter it occurs in rock with cliffs, and rarely in riparian forest, gardens and settlements at 1000-1500 m, singly or in small flocks of one-two dozen birds. Alpine Accentor breeds in separate pairs fairly far from each other. Birds come back to highlands in mid of March - early April. Nest is built in rocky cracks, small niches, between stones, or on ground under stone shelter; from moss and dry grass and lined with plenty of hair. Clutches of 4-6 eggs founded in mid of June - early July. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge in July. Autumn movement begins between mid November and early December.

Subspecies

Prunella collaris rufilata (Severtzov, 1879)

    Description. Light race. Dark streaking on mantle is less neat; the grey colour on breast and belly and the brown colour on flanks are lighter than in erythropygia; the brown flank feathers have little or no pale edging. The back, rump and upper tail coverts are grey.
    Distribution. Breeding in Tien Shan and Dzhungarskiy Alatau. In winter it descends to lower levels, and recorded in Chulak (Kzylaus gorge).

Prunella collaris erythropygia (Swinhoe, 1870)

    Description. Dark race. Dark streaking on mantle is heavier; grey colour of breast and middle-breast and brown colour of flanks are much darker than in rufilata. The brown flank feathers show narrow pale edges. The mantle has an ochre wash and the rump and upper tail coverts are ochre-brown.
    Distribution. Probably, occurs in Altai.

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 4. "Наука". 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.

supplement

subspecies

Prunella collaris rufilata
(Severtzov, 1879)
information gallery
Prunella collaris erythropygia
(Swinhoe, 1870)

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Prunellidae

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