Bird Families

Taitan Thrush / Turdus helleri

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Valery Kiselyov, Gomel district

The whole territory of Belarus

Family Blackbirds - Turdidae.

In Belarus - T. p. pilaris.

Common breeding, migratory, transit migrating and wintering species.

Gurkov2N. Vitebsk district

Somewhat smaller jackdaws, but more starling. About the same size as the blackbird. The head, top of the neck and upper tail are gray, the tail is dark brown, very different from the rest of the plumage. The back is reddish-brown, standing out against the background of the general coloration of the upper side. The chest, throat and anterior part of the abdomen are rusty-rufous with dark, well-visible streaks. The rest of the abdomen is white with brownish streaks. The brown streaks on the chest are partly V-shaped. When looking at a flying bird from below, a white lining of wings is noticeable. The beak is brownish-yellow with a dark apex, the legs are brownish. The plumage of young birds is dimmer, the upper body is brown. Male weight 70-140 g, female 68-109 g. Body length 24-27 cm, wingspan 40-44.5 cm. Male wing length 13-15 cm, tail 10-12 cm, tarsus 3-4 cm, beak 1.5-2.5 cm. Wing length of females 12.5-14.5 cm, tail 9-11.5 cm, tarsus 2.5-4 cm, beak 2 cm.

Joseph Kremis. Postavy district (Vitebsk region)

Compared to other thrushes, it is a more conspicuous, less secretive bird. During migration and wintering it usually keeps in flocks. In places of nesting, it also betrays its presence with loud crackling. Call sign "tchshek-tchshek", when there is a danger "trrrrrr. wick. " The song of the fieldberry, on the other hand, is quiet - a quiet chirping combined with a creak.

Zoya Kiseleva, Gomel district

It is rather difficult to record a spring arrival, since many fieldfarers spend the winter with us, these birds sometimes appear on nesting sites already at the beginning of April, and in the south of Belarus at the end of March. The arrival and flight times of birds vary from year to year.

It is very unpretentious in the choice of nesting habitats. Inhabits various types of deciduous, mixed and coniferous forests. It can be found in birch groves with spruce undergrowth, and in clean tall pine forests, and in old oak forests. The bird prefers light, sparse forest areas, often located near glades and meadows, clearings and edges.

Photo by Gurkov2N. Vitebsk district

It often settles in stands of river valleys, in damp places, near water bodies. It nests especially willingly in the vicinity of human habitation (in forests on the outskirts of villages, near summer cottages), as well as in various green spaces of the cultural landscape (in forest park recreation areas, old park alleys, cemetery groves, in small city squares). It is especially common in summer cottages and cities, rural settlements in the autumn-winter period. In southwestern Belarus inhabits various types of forests, preferring sparse areas of woody vegetation (15.6%), felling (10.0%), forest edges (20.8%), small groves among fields (12.7%), roadside stripes (8.0%), gardens and parks (12.4%).

Vladimir Bondar. Mogilev district

In the Brest region, fieldfare begins to select a nesting site and build a nest in the 2-3rd decade of April, in favorable years 5-10 days earlier, in unfavorable years about the same number of days later.

It nests sometimes in single pairs, but more often in small colonies (10-30 pairs each), occasionally rather large ones (in some areas, especially in the northern ones, they include up to 100 pairs).

Elena Kitaeva, Volkovysk district (Grodno region)

Nests are placed on trees, most often on pines, young alders, birches, oaks at a height of 1-6 m, in the cultural landscape - also on poplars, maples, willows, ash trees, larches, where the nesting height is usually much higher - 6-12 m and more. In southwestern Belarus, nests were located most often at a height of 2–4 m (40%) and 4–6 m (35%), less often at a height of 6–8 m (10%) or above 8 m (6.8%) ... The nest is located in a fork in the trunk, between the trunk and a thick branch, at the bends of the trunk, at the trunk itself (2-3 closely spaced knots serve as a support) or at a considerable distance from it (on horizontal branches).

Joseph Kremis, Postavy (Vitebsk region)

The nest is a rather massive bowl-shaped structure of last year's leaves and stems of cereals and stems of other herbaceous plants, sometimes with an admixture of moss lumps and thin woody twigs. This material is held together from the inside by moist earth, clay, and silt. Then it is lined with a more delicate material - mainly thin dry blades of grass, occasionally with an admixture of bast fibers. The height of the nest is 8-15 cm, the diameter is 12-23 cm, the depth of the tray is 6-7.5 cm, the diameter is 9.5-11.5 cm. The construction of the nest takes 4-6 days. Birds that have begun to build a nest can leave it due to the onset of a cold snap, and then return and complete the construction. In these cases, the construction of the nest takes up to 10 days.

Joseph Kremis, Postavy (Vitebsk region)

Clutch contains 5-6, sometimes 3-4, very rarely 7 eggs. The main background of the shell is light greenish or pale bluish green. On it there are more or less densely scattered brownish-brown or brownish-brownish-violet specks and specks, sometimes gathering at the blunt end into a rim. Egg weight 6.7 g, length 25-32 mm, diameter 19-23 mm.

In fieldfare, two reproduction cycles are relatively clearly expressed. Breeding periods in birds are extended by about 3.5 months. This length of the nesting period and the poor synchronization of hatching of chicks during the breeding season are explained by the non-simultaneous inclusion of fieldfare in the reproductive cycle and the presence of repeated clutches.

Joseph Kremis, Postavy (Vitebsk region)

The bird starts breeding in the second half of April. However, most pairs lay eggs in the period from the third decade of April to the first decade of May. There are offspring twice a year. The second clutches appear in the second half of June. The female incubates for 13-14 days, incubation begins after the female has laid the last egg. The male at this time guards the nest and, when the enemy approaches, with a loud chirping, attacks it, often throwing excrement. Mass hatching of chicks occurs in the 2nd-3rd decades of May. In the first 2 days after hatching, the female hardly leaves the nest. At this time, the male takes care of her, which every 10-15 minutes. brings food - various worms. The hatched chicks stay in the nest for 12-13 days, during which they are fed by both parents.

Joseph Kremis, Postavy (Vitebsk region)

Fieldfarers feed their chicks with small invertebrates, primarily earthworms. They look for food on the ground in areas with sparse low grass cover, mainly among fallen leaves. This explains the fact that nesting stations are located near areas with moist soil. In such places, they are localized not only during the rearing of young animals, but also in the first days after arrival. In the second half of June - July, parents bring blueberries, strawberries, etc. to their chicks.

Nikolay Agapitov, Vitebsk

The average size of the field field hunting grounds in different biotopes during the nestling period in the south-west of Belarus was 15–26 thousand m².

During the feeding period, the parents bring food to the nest 110-160 times per daylight. The frequency of parental delivery of food to chicks varies depending on their number, age and time of day. The intensity of feeding (12-15 times per hour) and the total number of food deliveries per day to the nest with 6 chicks reached a maximum on 8-9 days of their life. Somewhat lower, these indicators were recorded for the nest, which contained 4 chicks. At the beginning of feeding chicks on days 1-3 of their life, the number of invertebrates brought to the nest does not exceed 6-7 times. At this time, the male mainly participates in feeding the chicks, since the female spends up to 40-60% of the daytime in the nest, heating the chicks.

Julia Pivovarova, Kobrin district (Brest region)

The emergence of chicks of the first breeding cycle occurs in the third decade of May - the first decade of June. Fieldfare fledglings leave the nests unprepared for independent life, still being poorly able to fly, with non-grown wings and tail, and for 10–12 days the adults feed and teach them. They begin to lead a completely independent life at the age of about a month.

The second clutches occur in the 2-3rd decade of June, the chicks leave their nests in the 1st and 2nd decades of July.

Gurkov2N. Vitebsk district

In July, summer migrations of birds were noted, in which adults, chicks of the first and second broods take part. In the third decade of July - the first half of August, birds begin to gather in flocks, which migrate to feeding places.

Autumn migration of fieldfare to wintering sites is observed in September-October. The massive autumn migration of fieldfare takes place in the 2nd – 3rd decades of October - the 1st half of November.

Gurkov2N. Vitebsk district

Thrushes can withstand frosts down to –30 ° C, which allows them to stay for the winter in the presence of food even at the northern borders of the range. In the past 40 years, fieldfare has been regularly encountered in winter in cities and villages, and in the last 20 years - in the territories of summer cottages. Sometimes nomadic flocks number 100 or more individuals. Particularly numerous flocks of nomadic birds are observed during the years of massive harvest of mountain ash - the main food for birds. Fieldfarers stay in feeding places until they have eaten all the berries. Such periods are repeated on average once every three years.

Photo by Galina Tsmyg, Gomel

Fieldfare nutrition varies quite significantly according to the seasons of the year. In spring and summer, these thrushes eat mainly animal food - earthworms, insects, small molluscs - collecting their prey on the ground. Already in the middle of summer, they begin to eat blueberries, cherries, raspberries and blackberries. In autumn and winter, their main food is mountain ash, viburnum, mistletoe berries, juniper cones, seeds of frozen apples left on the trees.

Zoya Kiseleva, Gomel district

In years with a low yield of mountain ash, thrush roam the fields and coastlines of water bodies in search of food. In years of fruitfulness for mountain ash and other fruits, blackbirds in significant quantities remain on the territory of the Brest region for almost the entire winter. Birds leave the region after rowan stocks run out. Small groups or individual individuals most often remain until spring, these birds, in the absence of rowan berries, adhere to the coast of non-freezing water bodies or parks in cities.

The number of field ash in Belarus is stable, estimated at 300-500 thousand breeding pairs. There were no sharp fluctuations in the number of birds over the years, and it varies by no more than 3 times the size.

The maximum age registered in Europe is 18 years 1 month.

Valery Kiselyov, Gomel district

Photo by Galina Tsmyg, Gomel

Gurkov2N. Vitebsk district

Gurkov2N. Vitebsk district

1. Grichik V. V., Burko L. D. "Animal world of Belarus. Vertebrates: study guide" Minsk, 2013. -399 p.

2. Nikiforov M. Ye., Yaminsky B. V., Shklyarov L. P. "Birds of Belarus: Directory-identifier of nests and eggs" Minsk, 1989. -479p.

3. Gaiduk VE, Abramova IV "The ecology of birds in the south-west of Belarus. Passerines: monograph". Brest, 2013.-298s.

4. Fedyushin A. V., Dolbik M. S. "Birds of Belarus". Minsk, 1967.-521s.

5. Abramova IV, Gaiduk VE "The ecology of the reproduction of thrush (Turdus, Turdidae, Passeriformes) in southwestern Belarus" / Actual problems of zoological science in Belarus: Collection of articles XI Zool. Int. scientific and practical. Conf., dedicated to the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the State Scientific and Production Association "Scientific Research Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus for Bioresources", Belarus, Minsk. Vol. 1, 2017, pp. 6-17

6. Fransson, T., Jansson, L., Kolehmainen, T., Kroon, C. & Wenninger, T. (2017) EURING list of longevity records for European birds.

Description

Thrush Taita was previously classified as a subspecies of the olive thrush (Turdus olivaceus)but it has been regarded as distinct species since 1985. It reaches lengths between 20 to 22 centimeters. The head, chest and upperparts are darkly colored. The underparts are white and the flanks have a reddish tint. The eyes and bill show a pale orange coloration. It was named after zoologist Edmund Heller (1875–1939) colleague of American ornithologist Edgar Alexander Mearns (1856–1916), who described this species scientifically in 1913.

Distribution

The Taita Thrush is a forest-dependent native bird bordered by three forests in the Taita Hills (in southeastern Kenya): Mbololo, Chawia and Ngangao. Forests cover a tiny 342 hectares. Conservationists use birds - with thrush as the leading species - to protect the forest conservation of the Taita Hills.

Ecology

It is bounded by mountainous damp forests. Although its natural habitat, where it occurs, is strongly a thing of the past, it is shunned forests with secondary growth, shrub vegetation and cultivated areas. Despite extensive research, only very few migrations have been identified between fragmented populations.

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