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Little Grebe

Tachybaptus ruficollis (Pallas, 1764)

Малая поганка | Кішкене сұқсыр
summer

2013-03-25
Ters-Ashchybulak reservoir, Zhambyl region
© Vassiliy Fedorenko

Description

The Little Grebe is a little bird slightly larger than Thrush. In breeding plumage the upperparts are black-brownish, flight feathers are brownish, and the secondaries are with large white spots; the lores and throat are black; the fore and sides of the top-neck are chestnut-rusty; underparts are grey-brownish, the middle-abdomen is slightly paler; the axillaries and underwing coverts are white. In winter the upperparts are brownish; the sides of head and neck and the fore-neck are dirty-buff; the throat, bottom-breast and abdomen are almost white slightly brownish tinged. Juveniles are similar on autumn adults; but generally paler, bottom-neck is almost without buffy tinge, abdomen is more whiter almost without brownish. In breeding plumage it is easy differenced by the absence of collar and crest, by the rusty cheeks and neck. In autumn plumage differenced from other Grebes by the generally buffy-rusty color. Weight 110-370 grams, length 25-29, wing 9,0-11,1, wingspan about 40 cm.

Distribution

The Little Grebe breeds in southern Kazakhstan, in north up to lower Syrdarya river, Balkhash lake and Alakol depression. Probably breeds in Western Kazakhstan, where adults and juveniles were obtained in June–July 1957 on Kushum river; and on Kurgaldzhin lakes. Vagrant birds shot on lower Ilek river at Burannaya village early August 1883 and in Utva-Ilek area 6 August 1991. Winters on Sorbulak lake and in Taraz.

Biology

The Little Grebe is common resident or short distant migrant. Inhabits mainly small reservoirs with standing or slow flowing water and plentiful vegetation (reed, cane, reed-mace). Appears at end February - early March. Breeding begins early May. Floating nests are built on water, among vegetation, from decayed reed leaves. Clutches usually 4-5, less often of 3 or 6 eggs in May. Juveniles have been noted up to the beginning of August. Dates of autumn migration are not known. Late birds have been seen end October.

Subspecies

Tachybaptus ruficollis capensis (Salvadori, 1884)

References

"Птицы Казахстана" том 1. Издательство АН КазССР. Алма-Ата, 1960. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург, Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.

supplement

subspecies

Tachybaptus ruficollis capensis
(Salvadori, 1884)

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Podicipedidae

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