Ulars or, as they are often called by their size, mountain turkeys (although these are large partridges, and not at all akin to turkeys) - differ in their size, the weight of females near males is sometimes even more, a tail of pairs of rudders, rounded and about two-thirds of the length wing, the male has a short, blunt spur on the metatarsus and is much larger than the female, while both sexes are almost indistinguishable in color. Young males and very old females also have rudiments of spurs.
Ulars are birds of alpine meadows and mountain placers, rising above the snow line, but only at the transcendental heights of Tibet, descending to high-lying grain fields, holding in total from 2,100 m, but more often 3,500 to 5,800 m above sea level. Not only thickets, but even tall grasses are avoided. Divided into pairs. They feed mainly on plant seeds, buds and shoots, but, like other chicken birds, they willingly eat a large number of insects.
The legs are red or orange, the bare skin near the eye is yellow, only in the Tibetan snowcock and its subspecies is bluish-gray. The eyes are dark brown.
There are 6 species in total, in a number of races inhabiting the mountains of southwestern and central Asia.
Caucasian snowcock Tetraogallus caucasicus (Tetraogallus caucasicus)
In the Caucasian snowcock, the top of the head and neck is dark gray, the throat and front of the necks, the stripe along the sides of the neck and the undertail are white, the upper part of the body is dark gray with small transverse wavy buffy lines and with large buffy and rusty spots, which, however, are not present on the front of the back, the goiter and the chest are pale buffy with dense small transverse black stripes running more or less along the edges of the feathers, the belly is slate-gray with buffy streaks, the sides with rusty and black stripes, from the base of the beak along the sides of the throat there is a strip of dark gray or dark red, dark red or chestnut color of this stripe according to some researchers (Dresser, Menzbir) is a sign of a female, according to others (Hartert) - a sign of a male, according to others - a sign of old birds of both sexes. Material with accurate sex determination by autopsy is needed to resolve this issue.
Young birds are lighter in color and stripes on the sides of the throat are variegated.
Male female wing
The Caucasian ular inhabits the Main Caucasian ridge and its spurs wherever there is eternal snow.
Caspian snowcock Tetraogallus caspius
In general, the color is so similar to the previous bird that a separate description is not required, and all the differences are indicated in the table. In the female, the sides of the goiter are somewhat speckled with ocher. The wing is near the male and female.
Three races of this species are described, of which 2 are within our limits.
Persian Caspian snowcock Tetraogallus caspius caspius
This race immediately differs from the next in the strong reddish-buffy shade of the upper side and in the lighter, more mottled reddish-buffy wing coverts.
It inhabits the Elbursk ridge, bordering the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, from where it was described by Gmelin the Younger, and penetrates into our borders, extending eastward along the Kopet-Dag approximately to the Ashgabat meridian.
Armenian Caspian snowcock Tetraogallus caspius tauricus (Tetraogallus caspius tauricus)
Easily differs from the previous race in darker and more pure gray, shadeless buffy shade, tone of upper body and wing coverts.
Distributed from the Taurus Mountains in the southern part of Asia Minor, from about 32 ° E. to the western parts of the Lesser Caucasus - the Arsian, Agridag, Ararat ridges and, perhaps, even further to the east, but the Talysh birds are probably already of a typical form.
Birds from the Zagrosh ridge of southwestern Persia were described by Zarudny each under the name T. caspius semenow-tian-schanskii. This bird is even noticeably lighter than typical Persian birds, the white color on the primary flight feathers is more developed, the ear region and the back of the cheeks are not gray, but almost white.
Wing (gender not specified) 31.5 cm, tail 21.5 cm.
Abstract of a scientific article on biological sciences, the author of the scientific work - Sopiev O.S., Bozhko T.P., Solokha A.V.
Second edition. First publication: Sopiev O.S., Bozhko T.P., Solokha A.V. 1986. About the Caspian snowcock in Turkmenistan // Study of the birds of the USSR, their protection and rational use. L., 2: 253-254.
Text of the scientific work on the topic "About the Caspian ular Tetraogallus caspius caspius in Turkmenistan"
constant. If the stand is uniform and there are many trees, it often changes from year to year and even on different days of the same season.
Departure of females on the current ends April 25 - May 10, mating of males continues until May 1-31. On average, the current period lasts about 45 days. However, due to frequent interruptions, active leaking occurs on average for 15 days. In the last days of the current, the males made the usual demonstrations (including jumping with flaps of wings) in complete silence.
Hunting on currents has been carried out for a long time in the protected zone of the reserve. Sometimes it was very intense, but cases of a decrease in the number of males because of it were rare. Under our control, up to 20-30% of males were shot at experimental currents without prejudice to the current grouping. It was found that the areas of the shot males, as a rule, are not empty and the next year they are occupied by new birds. Among the males caught on the current, wood grouse at the age of 2 and 3 years prevailed.
The uniform employment of habitats suitable for the species, the stable number of males on the leaks for a long period allow us to conclude that the capercaillie population is in a favorable state in the observation area.
Russian Ornithological Journal 2015, Volume 24, Express issue 1173: 2764-2765
About the Caspian snowcock Tetraogallus caspius caspius in Turkmenistan
O.S. Sopiev, T. P. Bozhko, A. V. Solokha
Second edition. First published in 1986 *
The Caspian snowcock Tetraogallus caspius caspius (S.G. Gmelin, 1784) in Turkmenistan lives in a narrow section of the Central Kopetdag in a strip of about 60 km between the points of Khairabad and Gaudan and on Mount Dushak-Erekdag (2482 m above sea level).
In 1983-1985, a stationary study of the population of the Caspian snowcock was carried out on the Dushak torus. In winter, birds stay in the lower part of the gorge in areas warmed by the sun, rising to the upper edge of the gorge, where they feed in juniper forests. During the rest of the year, ulars are also found in the vicinity on gentle slopes.
* Sopiev O.S., Bozhko T.P., Solokha A.V. 1986. About the Caspian snowcock in Turkmenistan // Study of the birds of the USSR, their protection and rational use. L., 2: 253-254.
During the growing season of plants, ulars feed on juicy green parts and flowers, mainly of cereals and legumes. In the rest of the year - seeds and dry shoots of herbaceous plants, rhizomes, bulbs, etc. Food is obtained by tearing the sod litter under the old juniper trees and between the stones with its beak. The area of the swarms reaches 5-7 m2. The land is "plowed" to a depth of 10 cm. The eaten aboveground and underground parts of plants make up about 10% of the total plant mass per unit area. Chicks in captivity willingly ate insects up to one and a half months of age.
The first signs of sexual activity (male calls) were observed from the end of February. By mid-March, the intensity of calls increased, reaching a maximum in April-May. The first broods were encountered in early-mid-May. The last chicks hatch in early June. In 1983, from 17 May to 20 June, 12 broods were recorded, in 1984 - from 1 to 20 June only 1 brood, in the spring of 1985 - 4-5 broods. The maximum brood size in September was 8 chicks in 1983 and 1985 and 4 chicks in 1984. Broods do not disintegrate, apparently, until winter. In 1985, we observed two broods of 2 and 3 chicks, accompanied by an adult bird, until December, and in January, on fresh snow, we observed tracks of one large bird and two smaller ones.
The numbers are unstable. In 1983 and 1984, about 20-25 breeding pairs lived in the gorge, and in 1985 - almost half as many. Main limiting factors: limited altitude, aridity, mass tourism, poaching. Replenishment of this population due to the influx of birds from neighboring high-mountainous areas is unlikely, although it is not excluded.
Conservation measures: annexation of Dushak Mountain to the territory of the Kopetdag reserve, development of technology for keeping and breeding snowcocks in captivity. The reality of captive breeding of snowcocks is confirmed by the experience of raising chicks up to one and a half years of age in the scientific laboratory of the Turkmen Agricultural Institute (Ashgabat).