basic information

Eurasian Crag Martin

Ptyonoprogne rupestris (Scopoli, 1769)

Скальная ласточка | Құз қарлығашы

Middle current of Ile river, lower than Kapchagai
© Askar Isabekov


The adult Eurasian Crag Martins are brownish above, only the wings and the heads of some individuals are slightly darker. Underparts are off-white with the brownish-buffy tinge of belly which is deepened to undertail. The throat is pale almost white, brownish mottled. Tail feathers excluding central and outer pairs have one white oval patch in the inner webs. The tail is a low cut, the cut deepness is 4-6 mm. Bill is black, legs are pale-brownish, eyes are dark-brownish. Juveniles are similar on adults but the mantle's feathers have rusty-brownish edges. Underparts are rustier lightened on throat. Flight and tail feathers are slightly darker than on adults. Sizes: wing 126-134, tail 54-60, tarsus 10.4-12.3, bill 6.8-8 mm. Weight 19.4-21.6 gr.


Eurasian Crag Martin breeds in southern and eastern Kazakhstan, from Karatau and Talasskiy Alatau ridge to Zaysan depression, Southern Altai and Kalbinskiy Altai. On Mangyshlak (Karatau ridge) 7 birds were recorded end April, but breeding didn't find. On migration occurs in breeding range.


Eurasian Crag Martin is rare, in places common, breeding migrant. Inhabits rocky canyons covered by grass or shrubs; the cliffs and gorges over the rivers and streams. Appears in late March - early April. Breeding in small colonies of 12-24 pairs. Nest is built under the cliff ledge; nest is from the mud balls lined with the dry grass and feathers. Clutches of 2-5, more often 3-4 eggs, is from end of April to mid July. Only female incubates about 14 days. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge at age 25-26 days, in end of May to late August. The long breeding season points to probable two broods per season, but this not proved. Autumn migration occurs in September. Migration probably occurs over the mountains at high altitudes, since Crag Martins were not observed at Chokpak Pass. Last birds recorded in the mid of October.


"Птицы Казахстана" том 3. Алма-Ата, 1970. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.


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