Siberian stonechat

The Siberian stonechat or Asian stonechat (Saxicola maurus) is a recently validated species of the Old World flycatcher family (Muscicapidae). Like the other thrush-like flycatchers, it was often placed in the Turdidae in the past. It breeds in temperate Asia and easternmost Europe and winters in the Old World tropics.

Siberian stonechat
Siberian stonechat Male
Male in breeding plumage
Andhra Pradesh, India
Siberian Stonechat (Saxicola maurus) female, Salai, UP, India
Female
Uttar Pradesh, India
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Saxicola
Species:
S. maurus
Binomial name
Saxicola maurus
(Pallas, 1773)
Synonyms
  • Saxicola maura (lapsus)
  • Saxicola torquata maura (lapsus)
  • Saxicola torquatus maurus (Pallas, 1773)
  • Saxicola torquata przewalskii
Siberian stonechat (Saxicola maurus) male non-breeding
male non-breeding
Uttar Pradesh, India

Description, systematics and taxonomy

It resembles its closest living relative the European stonechat (S. rubicola), but is typically darker above and paler below, with a white rump and whiter underparts with less orange on the breast. The male in breeding plumage has black upperparts and head (lacking the brownish tones of the European stonechat), a conspicuous white collar, scapular patch and rump, and a restricted area of orange on the throat.[1]

The female has pale brown upperparts and head, white neck patches (not a full collar), and a pale, unstreaked pinkish-yellow rump. Males in winter plumage are intermediate between summer males and females, with a supercilium resembling the whinchat (S. rubetra); from this species and the female it can be distinguished by the full white collar.[1]

If seen at close distance, it can be recognized that its primary remiges are distinctly longer than in S. rubicola. In this, it closely resembles the whinchat, which like S. maurus is adapted to long-distance migrations.[1]

The male has a clicking call, like two pebbles knocked together. The song is high and twittering like the dunnock (Prunella modularis), an unrelated passeridan songbird belonging to the Passeroidea.[2]

Systematics and taxonomy

There are five or six subspecies, with S. m. maurus (described above) and the distinct but similar S. m. stejnegeri found across northern and central Asia. The southern S. m. variegatus (west of the Caspian Sea), S. m. armenicus (eastern Turkey to Iran), S. m. indicus (Himalaya) and the Turkestan stonechat S. m. przewalskii (southwest China) are distinguished by larger white areas on the plumage.[3]

In the past, S. maurus was usually included in S. torquatus as part of the "common stonechat", but that scientific name nowadays is restricted to the African stonechat. Analysis of mtDNA cytochrome b sequence and nDNA microsatellite fingerprinting data, though not unequivocal, together with the evidence from morphology, behaviour and biogeography seems to indicate that the present bird can be considered a distinct species. The European stonechat is its western sister species in the Eurasian lineage of stonechats; their ancestors separated during the Late Pliocene or Early Pleistocene, roughly 1.5-2.5 million years ago at the onset of the Quaternary glaciation.[4]

Its scientific name means "dark rock-dweller". Saxicola derives from Latin saxum "rock" + incola "inhabitant"; maurus is Latinized from Greek maúros (μαύρος) "black" (cf. "moor"),[5] in reference to the upperpart colour as compared to S. rubicola.

Distribution and ecology

The breeding range covers most of temperate Asia, from about latitude 71°N in Siberia south to the Himalaya and southwest China, and west to eastern Turkey and the Caspian Sea area. It also breeds in the far northeast of Europe, mainly in Russia but occasionally as far west as Finland.[6]

The wintering range of the migratory bird is from southern Japan south to Thailand and India, and west to northeast Africa. On migration, small numbers reach as far west as western Europe, and exceptionally as far east as Alaska in North America.[1]

The Siberian stonechat is insectivorous. It breeds in open rough scrubland or rough grassland with scattered shrubs, from sea level to about 4,000 m ASL or more. The birds seem to avoid even cool temperate conditions and stay up north only during the hot continental summer. In the montane regions of the Himalaya foothills of Bhutan, migrants can on occasion be seen foraging in fields and pastures more than 2,000 m ASL, but most move further down and south to winter in tropical regions.[7]

Though it is not considered a distinct species by the IUCN, it is widespread and common and would not be considered a threatened species.[8]

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c d Robertson (1977), Stoddart (1992), Urquhart & Bowley (2002)
  2. ^ Urquhart & Bowley (2002)
  3. ^ Bangs (1932), Urquhart & Bowley (2002)
  4. ^ Wittmann et al. (1995), Urquhart & Bowley (2002), Wink et al. (2002)
  5. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. pp. 243, 349. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  6. ^ Robertson (1977), Urquhart & Bowley (2002)
  7. ^ Bangs (1932), Inskipp et al. (2000), Urquhart & Bowley (2002)
  8. ^ BLI (2009)

References

External links

African stonechat

The African stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) is a species of the Old World flycatcher family (Muscicapidae), inhabiting sub-Saharan Africa and adjacent regions. Like the other chats, it was long assigned to the thrush family (Turdidae), to which the chats are convergent. Its scientific name refer to its appearance and habitat and means "collared rock-dweller": Saxicola from Latin saxum ("rock") + incola ("one who dwells in a place"), torquatus, Latin for "collared".

In the past S. torquatus usually referred to the entire "common stonechat" superspecies and some sources still keep it that way, but all available evidence strongly supports full species status for the European (S. rubicola) and the Siberian stonechat (S. maurus) of temperate Eurasia, in addition to the island-endemics Fuerteventura chat (S. dacotiae) and Réunion stonechat (S. tectes) which were never unequivocally accepted into S. torquata. The Madagascan stonechat is also considered distinct. In addition, the well-marked populations of the Horn of Africa uplands may well qualify for an additional species.

Common stonechat

Common stonechat is the name used for the Saxicola species Saxicola torquatus when this is treated in its broad sense.

It is, however, now more widely considered to be a superspecies consisting of several related but distinct species, which are outwardly fairly similar but genetically distinct and replacing each other geographically without significant hybridisation:

African stonechat Saxicola torquatus in the strict sense

European stonechat Saxicola rubicola

Siberian stonechat Saxicola maurus

Stejneger's stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri

Madagascan stonechat Saxicola sibillaThree other species, not previously included within the broad view of common stonechat, have also been shown to be members of the superspecies:

Fuerteventura chat Saxicola dacotiae

Reunion stonechat Saxicola tectes

White-tailed stonechat Saxicola leucurusSpecies status possible, but not yet verified:

Ethiopian stonechat Saxicola (torquatus) albofasciatusNot all of the above are currently recognised as full species by all of the relevant taxonomical authorities, for example the British Ornithologists' Union, currently include stejnegeri as a subspecies of Saxicola maurus.

European stonechat

The European stonechat (Saxicola rubicola) is a small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a subspecies of the common stonechat. Long considered a member of the thrush family, Turdidae, genetic evidence has placed it and its relatives in the Old World flycatcher family, Muscicapidae.

Gibraltar Point

Gibraltar Point national nature reserve is an area of about 4.3 km2 (1.7 sq mi) on the coast of Lincolnshire, England.

The reserve is owned by Lincolnshire County Council and East Lindsey District Council and is administered by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. The reserve comprises two parallel ridges of sand dunes—the "east dunes" and the "west dunes"—separated by about half a kilometre (550 yards) of salt marsh; and an area on the seaward side with further salt marsh and sand, shingle and muddy beaches. The reserve extends for a distance of about 5 km (3 mi) along the coast, from the southern end of Skegness to the northern corner of The Wash (Gibraltar Point itself is at the southernmost tip, and marks the point where the North Sea coast turns southwest towards Boston). A golf course occupies much of the west dunes (the inland side) at the Skegness end of the area. Gibraltar Point is an area of coastal deposition—at the end of the 18th century the west dunes were by the shore, but they are now a kilometre inland.

In 2016 a new Visitors' Centre opened at the southern end of the reserve. This contains an exhibition about the habitats and wildlife of Gibraltar Point. There are numerous paths around the area, and several artificial lakes and hides. The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust also owns an old farm and land just inshore of the west dunes at the southern end of the reserve, again with an artificial lake and hides. Revenue from car parks assists in the upkeep of the area.

Gibraltar Point is part of the twice daily inshore waters forecast in the extended form of the Shipping Forecast broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

The reserve's importance is recognised by its various designations:

SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest)

NNR (national nature reserve)

Ramsar wetland site (wetland of international importance)

SPA (Special Protection Area).

Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary

The Kanwar Taal or Kabar Taal Lake located in Begusarai district of Bihar, India, is Asia's largest freshwater oxbow lake.

It is approximately three times the size of the Bharatpur Sanctuary.

Ornithologist Salim Ali, mentioned about 60 migratory birds that come all the way from Central Asia in winter and recorded around 106 species of resident birds.

Nearest railway station: Begusarai Station

Nearest bus stop :Jaimanglagadh

Nearest airport: Patna Airport (Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Airport)

List of birds of Bulgaria

This list of birds of Bulgaria includes all bird species which have been seen in the country. Birds marked with (W) are species which spend the winter in Bulgaria but do not breed there, birds marked with (V) are vagrant species and birds marked with (I) are introduced species. It includes 400 bird species from 21 orders, 63 families and 198 genera.

The varied natural habitat, relief and climate and relatively untouched environment are among the main reasons for the many bird species in the country. The numerous islands and wetlands along the Danube including the Persina Natural Park and Srebarna Nature Reserve, as well as the lakes and swamps along the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, support many species of diving and aquatic birds such as ducks, swans, pelicans, grebes, spoonbills and many others. The eastern Rhodopes are among the strongholds of birds of prey in Europe, with most of the species in the continent nesting in that area. The mild climate in the extreme south offers good conditions for many Mediterranean birds as well as for wintering species from the north.

List of birds of Coimbatore

This article lists the birds found in various places in and around the Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. Over 285 species of birds have been recorded in and around Coimbatore.

List of birds of Denmark

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Denmark. The avifauna of Denmark included a total of 474 species recorded in the wild by early 2018 according to Bird list of Denmark. Of these species, 183 are rare or accidental and six have been introduced by humans.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags are used by the Danish Ornithologcial Society (Dansk Onitologisk Forening, DOF) to highlight some categories of occurrence. Those without tags are in Category A and "have been recorded in an apparently wild state in Denmark since 1st January 1950" according to DOF.

(B) Category B - species which naturally occurred in Denmark prior to 1 January 1950 but have not been recorded since then

(C) Category C - species introduced by humans, directly or indirectly, and which have established feral breeding populations

(*) Rarity - species which require submission to the Danish Rarities Committee of DOF for the sighting to be included in the official record.

List of birds of Georgia (country)

This is a list of the bird species recorded in the country of Georgia. The avifauna of Georgia include a total of 361 species, of which 11 are rare or accidental.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Accidental species are included in the total species count for Georgia.

The following tag has been used to highlight accidentals. The commonly occurring native species are untagged.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Georgia

List of birds of Greece

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Greece. The avifauna of Greece include a total of 453 species according to the Hellenic Rarities Committee of the Hellenic Ornithological Society (Ελληνική Ορνιθολογική Εταιρεία). Of them, four have not been recorded since 1950 and two have been introduced by humans.This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (English and scientific names) are those of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight several categories of occurrence. Species without tags are regularly occurring residents, migrants, or seasonal visitors which have been recorded since 1 January 1950.

(*) Rare in Greece; reports of these 120 species require submission to the Hellenic Rarities Committee for inclusion in the official record.

(B) Species which have not occurred in Greece since 1 January 1950.

(C) Species that do not occur naturally in Greece, although breeding populations have been introduced by humans.

List of birds of Kyrgyzstan

376 bird species have occurred in the Kyrgyz Republic.

List of birds of Macau

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Macau. The avifauna of Macau include a total of 88 species, of which two have been introduced by humans. Three species are globally threatened.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 6th edition. The family accounts at the beginning of each heading reflect this taxonomy, as do the species counts found in each family account. Introduced species are included in the total count for Macau.

The following tag has been used to highlight introduced species. The commonly occurring native species are untagged.

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to Macau as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

List of birds of Norway

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Norway. The avifauna of Norway included a total of 517 species recorded in the wild by the end of 2016 according to the Norwegian Ornithological Society (Norsk Ornitologisk Forening, NOF). An additional 23 species have been recorded by Bird Checklists of the World by early 2018. Of the 540 species listed here, 257 are accidental, five have been introduced by humans, and one is extinct.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight some categories of occurrence. The (A) tags are from Bird Checklists of the World. The (I) and (D) tags are from the NOF. The notes of population status such as "endangered" apply to the world population and are also from Bird Checklists of the World.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in Norway

(I) Introduced - a species introduced directly or indirectly to Norway and which has an established population

(D) Category D - species (17) for which there is reasonable doubt as to the wild origin of reported birds

List of birds of Poland

This is a list of the bird species recorded in Poland. The avifauna of Poland include 446 species, of which six have been introduced by humans and seven have not occurred since 1950.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of the Polish Fauna Commission (Komisja Faunistyczna). The Polish names of the birds, with their scientific names, are in the Polish Wikipedia article.

The following tags have been used to highlight several categories. The commonly occurring native species do not fall into any of these categories.

(B) Historical - species that have not occurred in Poland since 1950

(C) Introduced - species introduced to Poland as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

(*) Rare - species that are rare or accidental in Poland

List of birds of the Netherlands

This is a list of the bird species recorded in the Netherlands. The avifauna of the Netherlands included a total of 534 species recorded in the wild by early 2018 according to Checklist of Dutch bird species and Bird Checklists of the World. Of these species, 238 are accidental, 16 have been introduced by humans, and one is extinct.

This list's taxonomic treatment (designation and sequence of orders, families and species) and nomenclature (common and scientific names) follow the conventions of The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World, 2018 edition.The following tags have been used to highlight some categories of occurrence. The (A) tags are from one or both of Checklist of Dutch bird species and Bird Checklists of the World, and (I) tags are from Bird Checklists of the World. The notes of population status such as "endangered" apply to the world population and are also from Bird Checklists of the World.

(A) Accidental - a species that rarely or accidentally occurs in the Netherlands

(I) Introduced - a species introduced to the Netherlands as a consequence, direct or indirect, of human actions

Pied bush chat

The pied bush chat (Saxicola caprata) is a small passerine bird found ranging from West Asia and Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. About sixteen subspecies are recognized through its wide range with many island forms. It is a familiar bird of countryside and open scrub or grassland where it is found perched at the top of short thorn trees or other shrubs, looking out for insect prey. They pick up insects mainly from the ground, and were, like other chats, placed in the thrush family Turdidae, but are now considered as Old World flycatchers.

They nest in cavities in stone walls or in holes in an embankment, lining the nest with grass and animal hair. The males are black with white shoulder and vent patches whose extent varies among populations. Females are predominantly brownish while juveniles are speckled.

Saxicola

Saxicola (Latin: saxum, rock + incola, dwelling in), the stonechats or chats, is a genus of 15 species of small passerine birds restricted to the Old World. They are insectivores occurring in open scrubland and grassland with scattered small shrubs.

Stejneger's stonechat

Stejneger's stonechat (Saxicola stejnegeri) is a species of stonechat native to eastern Asia. It breeds in central and eastern Siberia, Japan, Korea, northeastern China, and eastern Mongolia, and migrates south to southern China and Indochina in winter.

It is a small bird 11.5–13 cm long, very closely similar to the Siberian stonechat in both plumage and behaviour, differing in only small details, notably having a slightly broader-based bill 4.7–5.7 mm wide (4.0–4.9 mm wide in Siberian stonechat) and slightly less white on the rump.Vagrants have been reported west to Great Britain, east to Alaska, and south to Borneo.

Whinchat

The whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) is a small migratory passerine bird breeding in Europe and western Asia and wintering in central Africa. At one time considered to be in the thrush family, Turdidae, it is now placed in the Old World flycatcher family, Muscicapidae. Both sexes have a strong supercilium, brownish upper parts mottled darker, a pale throat and breast, a pale buff to whitish belly, and a blackish tail with white bases to the outer tail feathers, but in the breeding season, the male has an orange-buff throat and breast.

The whinchat is a solitary species, favouring open grassy country with rough vegetation and scattered small shrubs. It perches in elevated locations ready to pounce on the insects and other small invertebrates that form its diet. The nest is built by the female on the ground in coarse vegetation, with a clutch of four to seven eggs being laid. The hen incubates the eggs for about thirteen days and then both parents feed the nestlings. Fledging takes place about eighteen days after hatching and the parents continue to feed the young for another fortnight. Moulting takes place in late summer before the migration southwards, and again on the wintering grounds in Africa before the migration northwards in spring. The whinchat is a common species with a wide range and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified it as being of "least concern".

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