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Great Bustard

Otis tarda (Linnaeus, 1758)

Дрофа | Дуадақ

Sorbulak lake, Almaty region
© Vassiliy Fedorenko


Irregularly breeds in steppes and semi-deserts of northern part of Kazakhstan, in south up to Telnov village (Volga-Ural interfluves), Aktau mountain in Utva-Ilek interfluves, lower reaches of Turgay river, Kurgaldzhin lakes. In summer occasionally observed in May district and near Shiganak lake in Pavlodar oblast, on Ustyurt (4 June 2001), on Shemolgan valley and in Kanshengel area. Nests in Zaysan depression, in foothills of Southern Altai and Tarbagatay, in Chiliktinskaya valley also. Probably breeds in southern foothills of Tarbagatay where in some places the pairs of Bustards occur in summer almost every year. On migration occurs in southern regions. Winters in area adjacent to Northern Caspian Sea and in south from Shymkent.


Rare breeding migrant. Inhabits the flat and hilly steppe landscapes both in plains and mountains to 1500 m in Tarbagatay and 1800 m in Chiliktinskaya valley; prefers areas with mostly feather-grass or wormwood vegetation; wheatgrass meadows with sparse reeds on the shores of dried lakes, or very rarely the fallow lands. In spring appears by pairs or small flocks in the end of February – March in southern regions, in April – early May in northern ones. At Chokpak Pass the latest migrants observed in mid-May. Breeds by separate pairs or in small groups if one male has 2-3 females. Female builds the nest on the ground in very shallow hole barely lined by dry grass. Clutch of 1-3 eggs is laid in end of April – May. Only female incubates clutch for 25-30 days and then care for offspring which hatches in May – June. In the end of July – August juveniles begin to fly and broods join in flocks. Autumn migration begins in the second half of August, and continues in September and October. Odd birds linger until mid-November, and in case of favourable feeding conditions winters in southern Kazakhstan.


Otis tarda tarda (Linnaeus, 1758)


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



Otis tarda tarda
(Linnaeus, 1758)

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