Bird Families

Upland barrow


Barbel of Mokhnogii (Buteo hemilasius), a large bird of prey of the hawk family. Body length is about 60–70 cm, wingspan is about 150–160 cm, females are larger than males. The color of the back is reddish-brown, the chest is white, the belly is brown, the tail is light, on the wings on the lower side there are large dark spots. Two other related species are similar to the Upland Buzzard: the buzzard, nesting in the forests of the Trans-Baikal Territory, and the Buzzard, nesting in the tundra, and in Transbaikalia found during migration and wintering.

Upland Buzzard has a limited nesting area in the steppe zone of Asia from Altai to the ridge. Big Khingan. The distribution area in the Russian Federation is represented by several separate small areas along the southern state border. In Transbaikalia, it nests in the southern steppe and forest-steppe regions. In the north, it reaches almost to the border of the steppes. In the steppe zone in the southeast of Transbaikalia, it is not numerous, in places common, and in the forest-steppe zone it is rare.

The number of Upland Buzzard varies considerably depending on the abundance of mouse-like rodents that form the basis of its food (except for them, sometimes it catches birds, very rarely - toads, large insects). In the vicinity of the Torey Lakes in favorable years, rich in forage (for example, in the second half of the 1990s), up to 40 pairs nest. During such periods, the density of Upland Buzzard is on average about 2.7 pairs per 100 km 2, and in the most favorable areas, the density reaches 12 pairs per 100 km 2. In unfavorable years (for example, in the early 2000s), about 16 families nest in the same territory (the average density is about 1.1 pairs per 100 km 2). At the same time, the density of Upland Buzzard in the vicinity of the Torey Lakes is higher than the average density for the Trans-Baikal Territory.

In Southeastern Transbaikalia, some of the birds remain to winter, and some fly away to the south (to China). Arrival to nesting sites of migrated birds begins in the 2nd half of February and ends at the end of April, the most intense migration is in the 2nd half of March. Nests are built on rocks, trees, power line supports, on the slopes of hills (more often - on stones, less often - just on the ground), sometimes on the ground in a flat steppe. Prefers to locate nests on the southern side of a hill or rock. This is very important for heating the nest and protecting it from strong spring winds, since it starts nesting very early.

Lays eggs in April. In a clutch there are 3–6 eggs, most often 4–5. In the Daurian steppes, it makes only one clutch per nesting season. In exceptional cases (during mass reproduction of rodents), it manages to raise chicks 2 times per season. The female begins to incubate the 2nd clutch of eggs, without waiting for the chicks from the 1st brood to learn to fly (the male takes all the care of their feeding and rearing). Autumn migration begins at the end of August and lasts until early November; intensive migration takes place at the end of September - the first half of October.

The current state of the population in Transbaikalia is unfavorable. Many nests of Upland Buzzards are easily accessible to humans and are therefore very vulnerable, especially at the beginning of the breeding season (eggs and young chicks often die from the cold if disturbed parents leave the nest). Steppe fires cause significant damage to the population (they often destroy nests located on the ground and low stones). The deterioration of the food supply due to the extermination in the 1960s also affected. tarbagans (Buzzards sometimes catch young animals). A significant number of birds die on power lines every year. There are frequent cases of birds shooting by hunters for the sake of entertainment.

Small encyclopedia of Transbaikalia: Natural heritage / Ch. ed. R. & nbsp Geniatulin. - Novosibirsk: Nauka, 2009 .-- 698 p.

Upland Buzzard

  • Superclass Tetrapoda Class Birds Aves
  • Order Falconiformes, or daytime birds of prey - Falconiformes
  • Family Hawk - Accipitridae
  • Subfamily Buzzards or Buzzards - Buteoninae
  • Genus Buzzards, Buzzards - Buteo

Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius Temminck et Schlegel) is a rare Central Asian mountain-steppe species. The forearm is feathered up to the toes, the throat and chest are buffy. The tail is light both below and above. Breeds at altitudes from 1500 to 2300 m in mountain steppes with rock outcrops or in mountains with wide valleys and soft relief forms. The nests are usually used multiple times, sometimes up to three or five years in a row. In addition, the Upland Buzzard in different years can use various nests located close to each other, most often 2-3, sometimes 5. There are 3-4 eggs in a clutch, less often - 2-5. The female lays eggs for 7-8 days. Incubation begins with the first egg. The general background of eggs is off-white, sometimes with a pale ocher tinge. The drawing is motley, superficial, clear. It hunts for rodents.

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In winter and in spring-autumn migrations, the Rough-legged Buzzard was observed in the Maryinskaya and Brateevskaya floodplains, on the Chaginskie wastelands and near the banks of the Moskva River.

They flew low above the ground towards the south. After their flight, two days later, cold weather set in.

The Rough Buzzard is found in Russia as a nesting inhabitant of the Arctic Ocean coast.

He settles in the tundra, along the steep banks of the polar rivers, building his unpretentious, sloppy nest from brushwood.

In winter, this bird migrates to the southern regions, in particular to Ukraine and the North Caucasus.

geese-geese flew low above the ground, hurrying south. Buzzards flew there, driven by the rapidly approaching cold snap. They flew by in a day six. They were in a hurry to the Kuban.

Near Krasnodar, this bird can often be seen in winter on alfalfa fields, on poles along the roads, it often sits on bushes and trees. In the foothills, these massive birds can be found atop old white-leaved poplars.

Usually birds sit on the ground and look out for voles running out of holes, but some fly into the air and, flapping their wings, sometimes hang for 20 seconds in one place.

In the Soviet Union, only four birds of prey - the kestrel, the common buzzard, the red-footed falcon and the buzzard - hunt in this way. By these features, they are easy to distinguish from other predators.

Usually Rough-legged Buzzards shake in the wind, as the wind supports the overweight bird. On a calm day, I had to watch the buzzard shake for two seconds, and then rolled over its head, unable to stay in the air in one place.

Up to five house mice can be found in the stomach of a bird. Rough-legged Buzzards often swallow rodents whole, and in this form they are in the bird's stomach for quite a long time.

The Rough-legged Buzzard is a very useful bird of prey and a decoration of the winter landscape. Therefore, she needs protection. It is not difficult to distinguish a buzzard. This is the only light-colored bird of prey that does not fly away to the southern countries for the winter, as do other predators with light plumage (osprey, serpentine, dwarf eagle, vulture vulture).

Rough-legged Buzzards are easy to distinguish from other quivering birds (Common Buzzard, Red-footed falcon and Kestrel) by a well-visible white tail with a brown-brown border, a dark brown spot across the white chest and a large brown square below on the folds of white wings. These signs are clearly visible to the naked eye, even at high altitudes.

The most characteristic feature is a tail without stripes with a dark border and a lighter base. The feathers on the head are much lighter than the rest of the plumage, but the color, like that of the common buzzard, which is very similar to it, is different. A seated bird can be recognized by the feathers that cover the legs almost to the toes. Flaps often.

This buzzard prefers to look out for prey in soaring flight. The well-being of these predators depends entirely on the abundance of murine rodents that form the basis of their diet.

In the Arctic regions of Scandinavia, for example, the breeding success of Upland Buzzards is entirely dependent on fluctuations in the number of lemmings. Like common buzzards in the northern part of the range, Upland Buzzards make seasonal flights and spend the winter away from their nesting area.

Distribution: tundra and forest-tundra of the entire polar zone. In August, birds fly south and in November appear in forested areas of Central Europe, where they winter. In April, they can again be found in the north in the nesting areas.

Reproduction: in May, birds make ritual flights over their territory, accompanying them with cries. At the end of May, the Rough-legged Buzzard repairs one of the old nests and puts a new layer of branches. Nests are usually located on rocks, but sometimes in trees or directly on the ground.

Chicks hatch from late June to early July and are incubated for 30 days. The number of eggs depends on the number of lemmings, which serve as the main food. In years when there are many lemmings, birds lay up to 7 eggs, if there are very few prey, the female may not lay eggs at all.

For the first 14 days, only the mother feeds the chicks, then both parents simply put food on the edge of the nest. In years when there are few lemmings, life-and-death battles flare up between the chicks because of food, often only one chick survives.

Food: first of all, lemmings, the buzzard hunts for them from an ambush or looking for prey from the air.

The Upland Buzzard is a medium-sized, densely built bird of prey, very similar to the buzzard (Buteo buteo). Top from ocher to brown, with the head and nape colored lighter, up to white, with black longitudinal streaks.

The tail is light above and below, much lighter than the color of the back, up to white with a wide preapical dark stripe and 1-4 narrower dull stripes (the older the bird, the more stripes on the tail it has). The bottom is white. On the throat and sides of the chest there are black longitudinal streaks, on the belly there is a black band.

On the folds of the wing there are large black spots connected by a black stripe with a sling on the belly, running along the base of the flight feathers. There is a narrow black stripe along the edge of flight feathers. Flight feathers are white, often with black streaks. The tarsus is completely feathered. The eyes are brown in color of varying intensity.

Females are larger than males, they are also colored.

Weight - 0.7-1.7 kg, length - 50-61 cm, male wing - 40.3-46.0 cm, females - 43.0-47.3 cm, span - 120-150 cm.

Juveniles are lighter than adults, but with a completely dark belly. The light tail has one wide dark stripe along the edge. On the lower part of the wing, streaks are practically absent.

Downy chicks in the first and second plumage are white with a slight grayish tint.

In flight, it holds its wings raised like a buzzard (Buteo buteo).

May be confused in flight with a light-colored buzzard (Buteo buteo) and a very light-colored Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius). It differs from the latter by the absence of red tones in color and a black stripe along the edge of the tail, from light-colored buzzards - by a band along the belly and more pronounced spots on the folds of the lower part of the wing.

It differs from the light wasp-eater (Pernis apivorus) in the landing of wings, a dark belly, the absence of clear striping on the wing and stripes on the tail, from the dwarf eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) in the V-shaped landing of the wings, black spots on the folds of the wing, less wide stripe along the edge of the flight feathers, a black belt along the belly, a black stripe along the edge of the tail, from the snake-eater (Circaetus gallicus) of a dark morph - small size, slightly narrowed towards the ends by the shape of the wings and their V-shaped landing, light head, black spots on the folds of the wing, black a belt along the belly, the presence of one strip along the edge of the tail (and not three along the entire tail).

Downy chicks from those of the buzzard (Buteo buteo) differ in pubescent tarsus.

The voice is similar to that of a buzzard (Buteo buteo).

Habitats: Rough-legged Buzzard inhabits the tundra and forest-tundra, along the high-mountain tundra of the ridges of mountain systems elongated in the latitudinal direction (Subpolar Urals), it can penetrate into the taiga zone. In the forest zone, it is replaced by the buzzard (Buteo buteo).

In the tundra it gravitates towards rugged terrain, where there are rocky outcrops, convenient for making nests. The largest number of birds nests in canyon-like river valleys, the rest evenly inhabit the periphery of plateau-like uplands, hilly-ridged areas with outliers or high ridges.

In the forest-tundra, the overwhelming majority of birds are concentrated in valley larch forests. To a lesser extent, it nests along the periphery of watersheds.

Nests are arranged on rocks and larch trees. On rocks it chooses ledges protected by a wall or cornice, large semi-niches, less often it nests openly on ledges. The height of the location of the nests varies from 1 to 150 m, usually 10-40 m.

It nests on larch trees, both on individuals and in the forest, no further than 40 m from the edge of the forest. Arranges nests both in the fork in the trunk and on the side branches at a height of 2 to 16 m, most often at a height of 6-10 m.

Some birds nest right on the ground, nesting on the slopes of ridges or tops of spring fields, but this is rarely observed.

Buildings on trees are similar in size to buzzards, on rocks - slightly larger: diameter 50-160 cm, average 80 cm, height 20-110 cm, average 40 cm, tray diameter 30-80 cm, average 50 cm, depth tray 5-20 cm, on average 15 cm. Lining is always abundant of moss and dry grass. Sometimes anthropogenic materials are present in the nest, usually laid out at the edge of the nest. In the arctic tundra, with a lack of building material, the nest is a plentifully lined hole in the ground with individual sticks and deer bones scattered around it.

In a clutch there are 2-5 eggs, usually 3-4 eggs. Eggs are white with rare brown or buffy spots. Egg size: 48.5-64.0 x 39.1-49.3 mm, average 58.03 x 45.36 mm.

The female, disturbed at the nest, behaves in the same way as the female buzzard (Buteo buteo) - flies in circles at low altitude and screams.

The distance between nests in dense groups is 1-5 km, usually 2-3 km, in less saturated groups 5-10 km or more.

Loads and tracks are similar to and indistinguishable from those of the buzzard (Buteo buteo). In the middle lane, tracks, as well as pellets, can very often be found at the beginning of winter on snow-covered haystacks.

The most optimal method for identifying Rough-legged Buzzards in the tundra is rafting with radial routes, during which rocks and slopes of valleys and ridges are examined to identify nests that are clearly visible by the abundance of branch material.

For the forest tundra, the above method is also relevant, however, here walking or horse-walking routes along the edges of the watershed forests can also give good results.

Both the timing and the general course of flights of Rough-legged Buzzards are quite diverse and subject to significant changes in different years. In some years, Rough-legged Buzzards appear in larger numbers, in others in smaller numbers. Most birds overwinter in open, relatively snowy steppe areas, while in the forest zone only irregularly, probably in the presence of especially favorable feeding conditions.

Many authors point out a connection between the number of flying and wintering buzzards and the abundance of rodents.

Everywhere on migration and in winter, young birds in the first annual plumage prevail numerically over old ones.

Spring movement northward is slow and may be due to snow melting and increased rodent activity in the middle lane.

Buzzards live in the tundra and forest-tundra during nesting time, in winter - open spaces, on migration in the forest zone, mainly in river valleys and in the cultural landscape.

As in all birds of prey closely associated in their diet with murine rodents, the number of buzzards in the nesting area, and on flights, and wintering areas varies greatly from year to year. This is due to increased reproduction in lemming years, as well as an increase in mortality and non-nesting in years of poor harvest of rodents. In general, it is not uncommon for nesting in the tundra, but in unfavorable years the number of nesting pairs is extremely reduced (15 times, Laplandia, Larson, 1935).

Rough-legged Buzzards keep in pairs from arrival, pairs are probably constant. The nesting period is at the end of May, when the tundra is almost free of snow, but the ground has not melted, therefore, there is always a thick litter of dry grass in the nests (about 6-7 cm, Osmolovskaya, 1943).

The sizes of the nests are different - depending on the biotope: larger, about 70-80 cm in diameter, on cliffs, smaller, about 50-60 cm on wet, flat tundra. The size of the nest is also influenced by the duration of its use. The nest is made of rather thick branches, which well protect the masonry and the incubating bird from the wind and snow.

In rare cases, nests are located in trees or rocks (Lapland). The nesting biotope is the forest-tundra of river valleys, wet flat tundra, dry watershed tundra, cliffs and pits of the coasts of tundra rivers, etc. The nests are preferably located in places with a comfortable and wide view. Each pair has several nests sequentially occupied in different years.

Mating, mating games (flight and characteristic whistle), repair of nests take place in the last days of May, at the same time or in the first days of June - laying. Nesting sites of various sizes (in the Timan tundra, the pair is at a distance of 2-3 km from the pair, the area of ​​the site is 4-9 km sq., Gladkov, 1941, in the southern Yamal, the distance between the nests is 2-3 km, Osmolovskaya). Areas are defended in a non-energetic way.

The number of eggs in a clutch varies greatly, apparently due to feeding conditions: usually 3-4, in "good" years up to 7, in "bad" 2-3. Undoubtedly, the lack of nesting of buzzards in the north in the absence of lemmings (Larson, 1935, believed that in Lapland the number of nesting pairs per year of "poor harvest" of rodents is 15 times less than in favorable years, on the Kola Peninsula in places where in 1895 Buzzard nests were encountered daily, in 1901 there was not a single occupied nest, Pearson, 1904, in Lapland during a sudden epizootic in lemmings, of the 67 nests occupied by buzzards (with only one chick), only five nests remained, the rest were abandoned parents, Universe, etc. Egg sizes (110) 48-59x40.5-46.5 on average 54.97x43.54 mm (Hartert, 1913).

Incubation begins, judging by the difference in the age of the chicks, with the laying of the first egg, both parents incubate (according to observations in North America, Burns, 1915, for 28 days). The appearance of chicks from the end of June and in the first half of July, depending on the term of laying (according to the observations of Osmolovskaya in Yamal, the difference in the term of laying is determined to a certain extent by the location of the nest: on high cliffs, nests are occupied somewhat earlier than in wet low tundra).

The chick, when leaving the egg, weighs 34.5-45 g, two-day-old about 50 g (Yamal, Osmolovskaya). Newly hatched chicks were found in Lapland on June 22 and July 5 (Pearson, 1899, 1904), in the Timanskaya tundra on June 24 - July 10 (Gladkov, 1941), on about. Vaygach June 27 (Pearson, 1899), to the south. Yamal, July 9-16.

Already 3-4 days after hatching, the second downy outfit begins to break through in the chicks, and the change of the first downy outfit, except for the head, ends at the age of 7 days, and by 10 days the second downy outfit develops completely, at 12-14 days hemp of the shoulder begin to break through , flight feathers, then tail feathers, at 28 days only a little fluff remains at the chick, at 35 days the young are fully feathered, but the flight feathers have not yet reached their full length, at this time they are outside the nest.

Flying juveniles in Lapland were found on August 17, about the middle of this month, and in the Timan tundra, on Yamal on August 13-20. The weight of flying juveniles almost reaches the weight of adults at this time: in males 900-1000 g, in females 1100-1200 g (Osmolovskaya). The mortality rate of chicks in years unfavorable for feeding conditions is very high: in 1942, in the south. In Yamal, with a clutch of 4 eggs, the broods had an average of 2.7 young (Osmolovskaya.) Young chicks usually die at the age of 10-14 days, when the female stops distributing the brood, but only lays the prey in the nest (Kucheruk and Dunaeva, 1941 ).

Sometimes the younger chicks are eaten by the older ones, sometimes they die of hunger. Broods of buzzards also suffer from polar foxes, sled dogs, and perhaps from a white owl. According to observations in the Timan tundra, buzzard eggs are sometimes abducted by skuas (Gladkov, 1941). Mosquitoes and gnats greatly annoy chicks (Finsch, 1879).

Not studied enough. In birds in the first annual plumage, it begins in early spring and even at the end of wintering: the change of small plumage on the shoulder, back, wing coverts, goiter in early May, then molting - apparently due to reproduction - stops, resuming in July. The beginning of adult moltting is at the end of the breeding period (on Kanin, in Timanskaya and Bolshezemelskaya tundra, in Yamal in the first half of July).

Late autumn specimens (found at the end of October-November) already in a fresh plumage. By the time of departure in August in old birds, the anterior 3-4 primary flight feathers remain unchanged. The sequence of the change of flight feathers is not entirely clear - perhaps, unlike other species of the family, it starts from the middle, from the 7th flight, and goes to the outer and inner edges.

The tail feathers molt from the middle pair, the latter is replaced by the second pair from the tail edge. In the course of the line, there are quite significant personal deviations. The sequence of changing outfits is usual: the first downy outfit - the second downy outfit - the first annual (nest) outfit - the second annual (final) outfit, etc.

In the nesting area, the main food for buzzards is lemmings, in the west Lemmus lemmus, in the east L. obensis and especially Dichrostonyx torquatus. The dependence of fertility, mortality, and seasonal distribution on the “harvest” of lemmings is indicated above. The buzzard hunts or skradem, sitting on the ground and waiting for the approaching prey, or on the fly, flying slowly and low, about 8-10 d above the ground, and at times "shaking" in place like a kestrel.

The hunting area is about 1 1 / 3-3 km (Yamal). If there are a lot of lemmings, then seasonal changes in diet are small. But in unfavorable years, birds, especially ptarmigan, begin to play an important role in the forage regime, although in this way the normal need of young for food cannot be provided.

During the nesting period, in addition to lemmings, Middendorf's vole, narrow-headed vole, water rat, white hares, ermine, weasel - from mammals, from birds to white partridge, young blue goslings, goose goslings, once an adult goose of this species , Lapland plantain, etc. (Yamal), on Vaigach - snow bunting, in 1938 the Timan tundra preferable feeding on partridges, in the same conditions in Lapland - white-browed thrush, coastal pipit and other birds.

During wintering in European Russia, buzzards feed on various mouse-like rodents, as well as other mammals (weasel is mentioned, for Germany even a hare) and birds, including gray partridges (Borovikov, 1907, Somov, 1897, etc.). There is information requiring confirmation about the feeding of the Canizhi with waste from the beluga and fishery (the first - on the Kanin, Bannikov, 1934, the second - in the lower reaches of the Yenisei, Tugarinov and Buturlin, 1911).

A typical buzzard, in flight it seems larger than a common buzzard. More willingly than the latter, he sits down on the ground. On the fly, a white tail base and a white mirror - the flight feather bases - on the underside of the wing are characteristic. The voice resembles a meow or a drawn-out whistle.