Russian Ornithological Journal 2008, Volume 17, Express Issue 408: 443-447
Ecological links between birds and mistletoe colored Viscum coloratum in Primorye and Amur regions
Institute of Biology and Soil Science of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Prospect 100 years of Vladivostok, 159, Vladivostok, 690022, Russia
Received March 30, 2008
Mistletoe is an evergreen semi-parasitic epiphyte shrub that lives on tree branches. In Europe and Russia, white mistletoe Viscum album is a pest of woody plants, in particular fruit trees (Beilin 1950). In the south of the Russian Far East, mistletoe colored Viscum coloratum Kom. Is widespread; it grows in the southern regions of the Khabarovsk Territory, along the Amur River valley to the northeast to the village of Malmyzh (Nechaev 1977), in the Primorsky Territory, the Jewish Autonomous Region and the Amur Region (Kharkevich 1995, Shchekina , Krylov 2006). It should be noted that the northern border of the mistletoe range in the Amur basin has not been sufficiently clarified, and this plant has not yet been found on Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. Outside Russia, mistletoe is common in China, Korea and Japan. Some botanists consider V. coloratum as a subspecies of V. album. The fruit of the colored mistletoe is a juicy berry (according to the classification of fruits - a false berry), spherical (up to 1 cm in diameter), red-orange or yellow in color, with a sticky pulp, consisting of viscin, and a large seed. The fruits ripen in September and do not fall off until next spring.
Mistletoe is an ornithochoric plant, thanks to birds it spreads to new areas.
The list of birds - consumers of white mistletoe fruit contains 28 species (Turcek 1961), of which 14 species are found in the Far East. These are hazel grouse Tetrastes bonasia, pheasant Phasianus colchicus, black woodpecker Dryocopus martius, jay Garrulus glandarius, blue magpie Cyano-pica cyanus, magpie Pica pica, nutcracker Nucifraga caryocatactes, black crow Corvus palustris, common garcart Passer montanus, tap dancer Acanthis flammea, spruce bough Loxia curvirostra, grosbeak Coccothraustes coccothraustes.
In Primorye and Priamurye, bird feeding on the fruits of colored mistletoe was studied by V.A. Nechaev (2001). Based on long-term observations of birds and analysis of stomach contents, 8 types of
birds eating the fruit of the mistletoe. These include hazel grouse, black grouse Lyrurus tetrix, common waxwing, Japanese waxwing Bombyc Ba japonica, Naumann's thrush Turdus naumanni, brown thrush eunomus, marsh tit, Pinicola enucleator. In the Amur Region, the fruits are consumed by pheasants, gray-headed woodpeckers Picus canus, gray starlings Sturnus cineraceus, jays, blue and common magpies, large-billed crows Corvus macrorhynchos, eastern black crows, Japanese and common waxwings, Naumann's thrush (V.A. Du-gintsov, . communication, Shchekina, Krylov 2006).
Thus, the general list includes 16 species of birds - consumers of colored mistletoe fruits. Most of them, with the exception of waxwings, eat mistletoe very rarely and in limited quantities. The reason for this is unknown. Perhaps - because of the poor taste and stickiness of the pulp of the fruit or the poisonousness of the seeds. Perhaps the birds eat the fruits for "medicinal purposes", or they pluck them by accident, by mistake.
Rarely, the fruits of mistletoe feed on hazel grouses - sedentary birds of coniferous and mixed forests. Out of 310 goiters and stomachs of hazel grouses, caught in Primorye and Amur region from September to March, only 4 goiters together with kidneys were found mistletoe fruits in an amount of 1 to 20 individuals. However, the crop of one bird was filled exclusively with mistletoe berries (about 80 specimens), and whole seeds and crushed remains of 25-30 seeds were found in the stomach. This hazel grouse (male) was caught early in the morning on December 3, 2005 in the valley of a mountain river on the Przhevalsky ridge, in the headwaters of the Bolshaya Ussurka (formerly Iman) river.
Other birds rarely eat mistletoe berries. Black grouse, which plucked fruits, were observed in winter in the vicinity of Khabarovsk. In the goiter and stomachs of 135 pheasants, in the stomachs of 30 blue magpies and gray-headed woodpeckers, 40 magpies and 10 large-billed crows caught in the autumn-winter season in the Primorsky Territory, colored mistletoe seeds were not found. According to M.A. Omelko (1964), in South Primorye (on the De Vries Peninsula) pheasants ate the fruits of this plant only in snowy winters. They do not often feed on blackbirds, in 45 stomachs of Naumann's and brownbirds caught in autumn and winter in the south of Primorsky Krai, mistletoe seeds were not found, but these birds were repeatedly observed on the branches of this plant. So, on January 14 in the vicinity of Khabarovsk, and on February 10 near Vladivostok, Naumann's thrushes were encountered, swallowing mistletoe fruits. Long-term researches of the author have shown that even with unfavorable weather conditions in autumn and winter and a deficit (in years of poor harvest) juicy and semi-cut fruits of woody plants, birds rarely consume mistletoe berries. When their preferred fruits are eaten, they leave the feeding area, while berries are still preserved on the branches of the mistletoe.
More often than other birds, mistletoe fruits are eaten by waxwings (common and Japanese) in autumn and winter, but they also use in food primarily the juicy and semi-succulent fruits of such woody plants as Amur velvet Phellodendron amurense, pinnate hawthorn Crataegus pinnatifida, Maak's honeysuckle Lonicera -ckii, Sargent's viburnum Viburnum sargentii, alder-leaved carp Micromeles alnifolia and others. The waxworms swallow the mistletoe berries whole. In their digestive tract, the sticky jelly-like tissue of the fruit is not completely digested and the seeds, surrounded by sticky pulp, are excreted with excrement. In waxwings feeding on mistletoe or resting on tree branches, hanging threads (up to 20 cm long) of sticky droppings are always noticeable under the tail. They, breaking away from the birds, fall down and stick to the branches or get entangled among them. Part of the seeds sinks to the soil or snow, where they later die. But birds successfully transfer most of the seeds to neighboring trees, where they are fixed on the branches. In the digestive tract of birds, the seeds are not damaged. In waxwings, the process of digestion from swallowing fruits to excreting droppings with seeds occurs very quickly: most of the mistletoe seeds pass through the digestive tract of waxwings in an average of 20 minutes (Borowski 1966).
According to the degree of damage to fruits and seeds by beaks and in the digestive tract, birds consuming mistletoe fruits are combined into the following groups.
1. Birds, destroying fruits and seeds with their beaks and swallowing them in parts, mainly use the "kernels" of seeds for food (finches: pike-holes, grosbeaks, tap-beetles and others, chicks and other tits, field sparrows, probably nuthatches).
2. Birds swallowing fruits entirely and destroying them completely or partially in the stomachs by grinding with the help of gastroliths (chicken: hazel grouse, black grouse, pheasants and others).
3. Birds that swallow the fruit whole and do not damage the seeds with their beaks and in the digestive tract. They only digest the pulp of the fruit, and the seeds are not damaged and are excreted with excrement (gray-headed and black woodpeckers, gray starlings, corvids: jays, blue magpies, magpies, nutcrackers, big-billed and black crows, blackbirds: Naumann, brown and others, common and Japanese waxwings).
During feeding, all species of birds drop some of the berries on the soil and snow, where they are found and eaten by mouse-like rodents and birds. The main distributors of seeds (dissemination agents) are birds of the third group, mainly common and Japanese waxwings, which more often than woodpeckers, starlings and corvids consume fruits
mistletoe. In the south of the Far East, both species of waxwings nest in the Amur basin and, possibly, in Northern Sakhalin, and during periods of seasonal migrations and in winter they are found both in the Amur Region and Sakhalin, and in the Primorsky Territory, on the South Kuril Islands, on the islands of the Peter the Great Gulf (Sea of Japan), as well as in Northeast China, Korea, Japan. In Japan, they are common in winter and feed on mistletoe fruits (Jahn 1942). During the periods of migration and wintering, waxwings keep in flocks, often reaching 200-300 individuals. Mixed flocks are usually dominated by B. garrulus. Waxworms keep in various forest formations on plains and along river valleys, in trees and shrubs, in an anthropogenic landscape, and fly into settlements (cities, villages). Birds congregate in places where juicy and semi-cut fruits of woody plants are abundant. In years of poor harvest for these fruits, waxwings do not stay in one place for a long time and are in constant roaming. Naumann's thrushes and brown thrushes are found in the Amur and Primorye regions during seasonal migrations and partially overwinter (in good years in the Primorsky Territory). Often in autumn, thrushes are kept in flocks of up to 200 or more individuals, in winter there are up to 20 birds in flocks.
Thus, birds (16 species) are agents of ornitochoria and factors of natural regeneration of colored mistletoe in the Russian Far East. The main seed distributors are common and Japanese waxwings. To a lesser extent, Naumann's thrushes and brown thrushes are involved in the dispersal of mistletoe. These birds spread seeds both at the places of feeding and overnight stays, and transfer them tens of kilometers from the host plant. The process of seed transfer occurs most often in autumn and winter in areas of wintering and roaming, and less often during spring migrations. However, the dispersal of mistletoe is slow. In some places in the south of the Far East, for example, in the northern and northeastern regions of Primorsky Krai, mistletoe grows rarely or is completely absent. This is most likely due to the rare occurrence of fruiting plants at the northern boundaries of the species range, the lack or absence of fruits during the periods of spring migrations, and the rapid passage of seeds through the digestive system of birds. Nevertheless, in our opinion, it is possible for birds to carry seeds of the colored mistletoe to Sakhalin and the South Kuril Islands.
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A.P. Nechaev 1977. Northern limits of distribution of representatives of dendroflora of cedar-deciduous forests on the Lower Amur // Vegetable and animal world of the Far East. Khabarovsk: 3-13.
Nechaev V.A. 1974. On the distribution and biology of some birds of the Lower Amur // Fauna and ecology of terrestrial vertebrates in the south of the Far East of the USSR. Vladivostok: 145-154.
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Borowski S. 1966. O pokarmie jemioluszki, Bombycilla garrulus L. // Przegl. zool. 1: 62-64.
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Russian Ornithological Journal 2008, Volume 17, Express Issue 408: 447-448
Fish in the catch of the Saker Falcon Falco cherrug in the southern foothills of Tarbagatai
1 Laboratory of Ornithology, Institute of Zoology, Center for Biological Research, Ministry of Education and Science, 93 Al-Farabi Avenue, Akademgorodok,
Almaty, 050060, Kazakhstan. E-mail: [email protected] 2) Sokol nursery "Sunkar", Almaty, 050060, Kazakhstan
Received February 24, 2008
During the survey of the Karabas mountains, located in the southern foothills of Tarbagatay between the villages of Karabut and Bakhty, on April 25, 1991, in one of the gorges in a rock niche, we found a nest of Saker Falcon Falco cherrug with an incubated clutch of 5 eggs. At the edge of the nest, half-eaten food was found - a naked osman Gymnodiptychus dybow-skii, a fish 20 cm long. How this falcon caught such an atypical prey was not clear. However, as a result of subsequent observations, it was possible to clarify this mysterious moment.
In the upper part of the same gorge, on a rock ledge, there was a nest of the black stork Ciconia nigra, in which there were 3 eggs on April 25. The stork, returning after feeding, sometimes flew along the gorge past the nest of falcons. There he was immediately attacked by the Saker Falcon. IN
Slightly larger than the redbird, from the brown thrush. Below, the predominant color of the body is rusty-red, especially on the chest and sides, the tail is also red, with the exception of the central pair of tail feathers (they are brown). On the back, the red color is more or less masked by light brown edges. The top of the head is brownish, with dark streaks, the eyebrow is white or reddish.
In females, the color is generally the same, but the whole outfit is usually less bright than that of the male, and is very variable, the darkest females with brown streaks on the chest and with a weakly pronounced reddish on the tail are very similar to the females of the brown thrush.
In autumn plumage, most of the red plumage is masked by light edges.
Juveniles are similar to the female, also with a predominance of red, but usually more variegated.
They differ from all our other thrushes in all outfits by the presence of a red coloration on the body (especially on the chest and sides) and tail. All outfits have a red underside of the wing. It differs from the red-throated thrush by the presence of red on the sides, from the red-throated thrush - by the red breast, from the olive thrush - by the presence of red on the tail, upper tail and back. There are difficulties due to the similarity of females and juveniles with brown thrushes; a reliable definition has not been developed. Weight 60-100 g, length 22-26 mm, wing 12.4-13.5 mm, span 38-41 cm.
A hybrid of a red thrush with a brown thrush (Turdus eunomus) or a black-throated thrush (Turdus atrogularis) was caught at Chokpak pass on April 4, 2002. One bird was observed in Kyzylkum (Uzbekistan) on October 18, 1973 (Kashkarov et al., 1974), another the bird was photographed on November 6, 2016 in the lower reaches of the Turgen River in the Almaty region (Ivan Bevza, www.birds.kz).
Sources of information
Ryabitsev V.K. "Birds of the Urals, Urals and Western Siberia", Yekaterinburg, Publishing house of the Ural University, 2001, Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.