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Ratchet warbler, Phylloscopus sibilatrix
Yesterday I got to the archive with photographs from the Delta de l'Ebre National Park in Catalonia. And in the first frames I came across a bird that I have been looking for in Russia for a long time, and she is here in Spain. Well, how can we continue to take pictures here? So I stopped at the warbler. while I selected the photographs, while I read everything I found about her. so night came, but the story about the national park did not start again. Maybe next week?
At the first glance at the bird, I was struck by its color: it seems that it is not very bright and there are not many colors, but how beautiful it is
I found her looking for tasty insects in some strange bush. Do you know the name of this plant?
Penochka turned out to be a brisk person and did not want to just sit on the branches, so there are such shots: in a jump :)))
She jumped to a branch, turned around, looked at me carefully and flew away
Then I came across a warbler on a reed by an irrigation ditch. A hard light shot, the sun was at its zenith and I would have thrown it out, but I was fascinated by the beak shadow. Graceful beak - awl :)))))
In Brateevo and Maryino, these birds are found on vacant lots in late spring and autumn. They are the last to fly away. They fly, they say, very far, somewhere in the Mediterranean Sea.
When flying, they sometimes sit down to rest. But they do not sit for long, an hour and a half. Neither in Maryino nor in Brateevo have we seen their nesting sites in recent years.
In the 80s, bird watchers observed several families of these traveling birds on the territory of the LPF, where Maryino is now. Some were even ringed. Where the results of these studies are located is unknown.
In spring, summer and autumn, chiffchaff is seen annually on the Chaginsky vacant lots, at the beginning of the Plintovsky ravine, as well as behind the street. Upper fields at the beginning of the Kuzminsky forest park.
Suborder: Singing passerines
Small forest bird.It keeps in the crowns of the spruce forest. Whistles softly and shortly. In September they fly to Africa.
Since 2006, some authors have distinguished two genera, Phylloscopus and Seicercus, into a separate family Phylloscopidae with a greenish-brown top and whitish bottom.
This is the third warbler widely distributed in Europe and the European part of Russia. The European subspecies is found in the summer from the White Sea to the Crimea and the Caucasus, but in the Urals it is gradually replaced by another - Siberian (Siberian warbler), distributed throughout the forest belt of Siberia to the Kolyma River. In Central Asia, Altai and the Caucasus, other subspecies of the same species live, differing in shades of plumage of the upper body, flight and tail feathers, as well as lifestyle in connection with local conditions.
The chiffchaff warbler is a characteristic inhabitant of the coniferous forest, mainly of spruce forests. Only in the strip of deciduous forests and even further south, it is found even in small forests, in forest bogs (for example, in Belarus) or in gardens and groves.
Prefers forest edges, found in gardens and parks, less often in shrub thickets.
It looks like a willow warbler, but there are no green tones in the plumage, the abdomen is slightly brownish, the legs are almost always dark. It is more often kept in the crowns of tall trees.
A small stocky, dimly colored warbler with a short tail and rounded wings. Body length 10-12 cm, weight of males 7-8 g, weight of females 6-7 g. In breeding plumage it has a grayish-brown top, in the western part of the range with a small olive bloom. The bottom is whitish, sometimes with a yellowish-brown tinge on the throat and sides.
On the eyebrow there is an indistinct short whitish stripe. In autumn, the plumage becomes even dimmer, the yellowish tint on the sides practically disappears (in the Siberian subspecies P. tristis, it is not expressed at all). A fairly long full molt takes place before winter migration.
Newly fledged chicks are more brownish above and yellowish-white below than adults. After about 10 weeks after plumage, young birds molt and acquire an adult outfit.
The beak is rather sharp and dark. The legs are dark with a yellowish foot. Outwardly, it looks like a wildebeest, from which it is easily distinguished by black (and not completely yellow) legs and characteristic singing - a long and measured repetition of abrupt, now rising, now falling sounds, reminiscent of the ringing of a drop, something like "shadow-ting-tien-ting -tin-tien ".
Its Russian name "chiffon" got its thanks to the song, slightly reminiscent of the ringing of falling drops "shadow-ting-tien-shadow". The song is sonorous, measured, monotonously repeated in different modes “shadow-ting-tyan-tyun”. tr. tr. shadow-tin. ”, A cry like a willow. Chiffchaff is characterized by autumn singing during migration and post-nesting migrations.
The call is a short and quiet "tyuyu", not such a stretched and two-syllable "tyu-itt" as in the willow wedge. In the Iberian warbler (Phylloscopus brehmii), previously considered a subspecies of the chiffchaff warbler and inhabiting the Iberian Peninsula and northwestern Africa (Algeria), the song is shorter, “tu-tu-tu-whip-whip-chitichitichitti”.
However, in the habitats of both species, it is often difficult to distinguish the two species on the basis of vocalization alone. Unlike the willow warbler, the chiffchaff sometimes drops its tail. Caucasian chiffchaffs are more similar to the European subspecies and have greenish tints and are found in the forest belt, rarely entering the subalpine zone.
In the song of the chiffchaff chiffchaff, there are from 13 to 24 syllables.
In autumn, when the weather is fine, chiffchaffs sing almost like in spring, willingly join mixed flocks of tits, pikas, and koroliks and roam the forests and gardens with them.
It feeds on insects and elderberries. The chiffchaff warbler is a characteristic inhabitant of the coniferous forest, mainly of spruce forests.
It also nests in mixed forests, but adheres to coniferous islands. Distributed almost everywhere from the southern tundra to forest-steppe, except for the south of Eastern Siberia and most of the Far East.
In Central Europe - from mid-March to (at the latest) early November.
Most of the birds winter in the Mediterranean.
It nests in light coniferous and mixed forests of Europe and Asia, in places spreading far to the north. Winters in the Mediterranean, South Asia and Central Africa. The nest is in the form of a hut, located on the ground or on a small elevation - a stump or in the midst of a bush. It feeds on insects and elderberries.
Breeds in Eurasia to the west of the Alazeya basin and the middle reaches of the Kolyma. To the north, it rises to 67-69 ° N. sh., reaching Taimyr in the area of the 72nd parallel. The southern border of the nesting sites lies approximately along the southern border of forests, although isolated populations are found in northwest Africa, western Turkey and northwest Iran.
In most of the range, it is a migratory bird, although in nesting places it usually appears earlier than other migrants and flies away one of the last. Winters in Southern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
The structure of the chiffchaff nest is very similar to the nests of other species of warblers, but it is not always located on the ground, sometimes it can be found not high from the ground (up to 75 cm) in the thick of spruce undergrowth branches or in a juniper bush.
Few feathers can be seen in the litter.
The testicles of the chiffchaff are smaller than those of the willow warbler and ratchet (14-16 mm in length), and are always distinguished by a white, like chalk, the main background and very sharp specks and specks (gray, brown, red) scattered over it.
The terms of incubation and feeding of chicks are approximately the same as for other warblers.
In nesting places in the forest belt, it settles in sparse forests, clearings with tall trees and undergrowth, among which it makes its nests. As a rule, he chooses places with trees not lower than 5 m in height, and the lower tier of tall grass, like a bracken or nettle fern.
In Western Europe, it prefers deciduous and mixed forests - for example, observations in the area of Oxford in Great Britain showed the dominance of English oak (Quercus robur), pseudoplatanus maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) and common ash (Fraxinus exelsior), as well as thickets of raspberries. In Siberia, on the contrary, it prefers forests with an admixture of dark coniferous species.
In general, the nesting biotope is quite specific, and noticeably differs even from other closely related species of warblers - for example, the willow warbler prefers younger and shorter trees, while the ratchet prefers less dense underbrush. In the tundra and forest-tundra, it occurs in the floodplains of rivers with shrubs along the banks.
In places of winter migration, it is less dependent on woody vegetation, and in addition to areas also occurs in shrub thickets. Unlike the willow warbler, which is quite tolerant of arid landscapes, the chiffchaff usually stays near water.
In recent years, due to the general warming of the climate in Western Europe, there has been a tendency for the expansion of the winter range to the north - for example, birds often concentrate in the coastal regions of southern England and in the vicinity of London. At the same time, some of the birds lead a sedentary lifestyle, and some belonging to the subspecies abietinus and tristis move from more eastern regions.
The warbler arrives at nesting sites early enough, when the trees are not yet covered with foliage - in the European part of Russia at the end of March - April, in Siberia near Krasnoyarsk - at the beginning of May. The males are the first to arrive, immediately occupy the area and begin to sing loudly, sitting on the top of a spruce or deciduous tree, apparently marking the place and calling the females. Females appear much later - 2-3 weeks after males.
Having noticed a potential mate, the male ritually flies around her, with movements resembling the flight of a butterfly. After the mating pair has formed, other nearby females leave the territory, which usually occupies about 10 m in radius from the nest. The forage area is much wider and usually exceeds the nesting area by a factor of ten or more. Females are believed to feed at a greater distance from the nest than males.
The construction and arrangement of the nest, as well as the incubation of eggs and the care of the offspring, is mainly carried out by one female, while the tasks of the male include the protection of the territory. During the breeding season, males are quite aggressive towards newcomers, and enter into a fight with males of neighboring nests and other small birds.
Defending the nest, the birds are able to attack even larger predators such as the ermine or the egg-hunter jay. The nest is in the form of a house, it is arranged on the ground or on a small, up to 75 cm, elevation. As a rule, it is well hidden in the midst of blackberries, nettles, junipers or other low-growing vegetation, and is located close to a bright, open area.
Last year's leaves and grass are used as building material, and a small number of feathers are used for bedding. The nest has a side entrance, its height is about 12.5 cm, and its diameter is 11 cm.
Clutch of 2-7 (usually 5-6) white eggs covered with few streaks and spots of reddish, purple or brown color. The eggs are smaller than those of the willow - 1.4-1.9 cm long and 1-1.3 cm wide. Incubation begins with the last egg and continues for 14-15 days.
The female sits very tightly, while the male does not feed her and often does not take further part in caring for the offspring. Nestlings of the nesting type - after hatching they are almost naked (there is a small gray fluff on the head and back), blind and helpless. The ability to fly manifests itself after another 14-15 days, during which the female obtains food and takes care of the offspring.
In cool or inclement weather, when the number of insects decreases sharply, the male can help the female to feed the chicks. After hatching, the chicks stay in the immediate vicinity of the nest for 3-4 weeks and are fed by their parents, although the intensity of feeding is gradually decreasing. At the end of the nesting season, the birds often flock into small mixed flocks in other warblers, after which they fly off to their wintering grounds.
Mating pairs, most likely, survive only for one season, even when the birds return to the same nesting places. Monogamous, polygyny is occasionally observed. There are isolated cases of crossing in the willow warbler - the resulting offspring has vocal characteristics of both species.
The diet is similar to most other warblers - it is based on a variety of small forest and aquatic insects and their larvae, as well as spiders. In large quantities it eats flies, caterpillars of the winter moth and other butterflies, small beetles. In autumn it feeds on elderberries.
It feeds mainly in the crowns of trees and shrubs, in the air near foliage. It eats about a third of its own weight per day, and before the autumn migration it gains additional fat, which is necessary to cover a long distance.
Until the end of the 18th century, the chiffchaff was not mentioned as an independent bird, and in Europe, the chiffchaff was usually understood as three different, but outwardly similar species - the chiffchaff itself, the willow warbler and the rattle chiffchaff.
One of the first scholars to literally identify these three species was the English priest and naturalist Gilbert White (1720-1793) - in 1789 in his work "The Natural History and Ancient Monuments of Selborne" (eng. The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne), he described these birds on the basis of singing characteristics. The scientific name Sylvia collybita was given to the chiffchaff by the French ornithologist Louis Villot in 1817 in the book Nouvelle Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle.
The genus of warblers (Phylloscopus), which unites more than 50 species of small forest insectivorous birds with a similar color (greenish or brownish top and yellowish, white or ocher bottom), was described in 1826 by the German zoologist Heinrich Boie.
This genus belongs to the Warbler family, although since 2006 there have been proposals to separate it into the newly formed family of chiffchaffs (Phylloscopidae). The closest relatives of the chiffchaff, in addition to the former subspecies, are the willow warbler, rattle warbler, light-bellied and Iranian chiffchaff.
Swarming and flapping in the tops of large spruce trees, the chiffchaff betrays its presence with a very original song, very different from the singing and the willow and rattle. In these three birds we have an example of the striking dissimilarity of the song of closely related species. The song of the chiffchaff can hardly be called a real song.This is a measured repetition of abrupt, then rising, then falling, rather sonorous tones, like “shadow-ting-tien-ting-ting-tien. ”, For an unlimited time.
From a distance, the sounds resemble the resounding flapping of water drops from a loosely turned tap or the blows of a tiny blacksmith's hammer on an anvil (hence the name of the bird "grasshopper"). Beginning or ending singing, the chiffchaff makes a few muffled, as if “grunting” sounds with the same rhythm: “trick-trick-trick. ”, But you can only hear them up close. Her usual urge is a quiet and short whistle, like "fuy".
The tenkovka is even smaller than the willow (about 11 centimeters long). If you come closer to the bird, when it flips at the ends of the spruce paws, pecking at small insects, you can see that its color is even broader and more inconspicuous than that of the willow warbler.
The top is monotonously brownish, and the bottom is light gray, on the breast it is also brownish. Through binoculars, you can see that her legs are black. This is a characteristic difference between the chiffchaff and the willow warbler and other species. In autumn, after molting, chiffchaffs (just like other warblers) look brighter, with yellowness on the breast. Fledglings are brighter and yellower than their parents.
The nest of the chiffchaff is also built as a small house and is very similar to the nests of other species of this genus, but it does not always fit on the ground. In some cases, you can find a nest at a height of up to 3/4 meters, for example, hidden in the thick of the branches of young spruce undergrowth or in a juniper bush. Feathers are often found in the lining.
The testicles of the chiffchaff are smaller than those of the willow warbler and ratchet (14-16 millimeters), and differ almost always in a bright white, like chalk, the main background and very varied in color and sharp specks and specks (gray, brown, red). The terms of incubation and feeding of chicks are the same as for other warblers.
By the type of food, the chiffchaff is close to the willow warbler, but small insects of coniferous forests predominate among its prey. It exterminates especially a lot of aphids, sometimes with whole colonies of young end shoots of spruce, fir and pine living on fresh needles, pecks at spiders and small caterpillars of moths and moths. At the end of summer, like other warblers, it eats small berries. Chiffchaff usually also has two clutches.
In September, birds finish molting and start flying to African wintering grounds.
• Western European chiffchaff, nominative subspecies. Breeds in Central and Northern Europe east to Poland and Bulgaria. Winters south of the nesting area - in the regions of Southern Europe and North Africa adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. Beginning in the 1970s, birds of this subspecies began to expand their range northward, reaching Scandinavia, the southern border of the P. c. abietinus.
• Eastern European chiffchaff. Breeds in Scandinavia and the north of the European part of Russia. In winter, it moves to the southeast of Europe, northeast of Africa and Western Asia to Iraq and western Iran. In color, it is an intermediate form between P. c. collybita and P. c. tristis is a dull greenish-olive on top with a faint yellowish eyebrow and whitish below (lighter than P. c. collybita). Vocalization is very close to the nominative subspecies. Coloration is variable, and outside the main habitats, the precise classification of this subspecies and P. c. collybita can be confusing. Vocalization does not differ from the nominative subspecies.
• Siberian, or sad chiffchaff. Breeds in Siberia to the east of the Pechora, Ufa and middle reaches of the Urals. Winters in the lower reaches of the Himalayas. The color is the most dull among all subspecies - gray or brownish above and whitish below, without olive and yellow tints. The white eyebrow is often longer than in more western forms. The voice is more like the singing of flycatchers and tits - a high and less sonorous song "teve-tevi-tive-teven" and a short harsh call "chiit". Due to its distinctive features in color and vocalization, the Siberian chiffchaff is sometimes distinguished as a separate species, as was previously done with the Central Asian chiffchaff P. s. sindianus.