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Fieldfare

Turdus pilaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Рябинник

2015-05-03
Kosikha, Kosikhinskiy rayon, Altayskiy kray
© Evgeniy Boginskiy

Description

The Fieldfare is well distinguished from other Thrushes by the color of upper parts. The head and rump are grey, the back and base of the wings are plain chestnut brown, the tail is dark-brown darker than other upper parts, underwings are white. The breast has a reddish wash, and the rest of the underparts are white. The breast and flanks are heavily black spotted. The female is similar on the male but its grey parts are brownish tinged; the brown color is less bright; the underparts spots are dimmer. The seasonal differences of plumage are insignificant, in autumn all the colors are dimmer and the beak is brownish-buffy instead yellow (on base) in summer. The juveniles are mottled on upper parts, the main distinguishing character from other Thrushes is dark tail. In the end of summer the juveniles are similar on adults but have dimmer colors. The distinctive habitude is the bringing up the tail on disquiet. Weight 75-130 grams, length 22-29, wing 13,6-15,2, wingspan 40-46 cm.

Biology

The Fieldfare is common breeding migrant, in some places rare resident or winter visitor. It inhabits the different countries from the dense forests to open countries with scrubs but prefers the deciduous and mixed forests with the margins near the rivers; on plains and in mountains up to 1750 m. On migration it visits riparian forests, bush thickets, groves, forest-belts and dry mountains. Spring migration starts in March and continues till end April – early May. Birds fly singly or in small flocks of 30-40 birds. On breeding areas it appears in the end of March (Ural River) or in mid – end April (Altai). It breeds either in loose colonies (usually of 10-50 pairs) on 10-100 m from each other or in separate pairs. Nest is built by both partners mainly in the tree (willow, poplar, elm, birch, asp, larch, spruce), rarer on the stumps, in the cliffs and under the roofs; on 0.5-15, usually 2-4 m above the ground. It is constructed for 3-5 days from the soil-mixed thin twigs and dry grass and is lined with dry grass and bast strips. Clutches of 3-10, usually 4-6 eggs is in end April – late June. Mostly female incubates for 10-12 days, male rare helps it. Both parents feed juveniles fledged at 10-13 days old, in end May – end July. Some pairs rear two broods; repeated breeding after losing of first clutch is common. The base of the summer food of both adults and juveniles is brandlings and omnifarious land insects. In autumn it begins to eat the berries (mountain ash berries in the main) which it eats in the winter dispersing in loose flocks in the forests, forest-belts and gardens. Autumn migration in flocks up to 100-200 birds starts in the end of August, but majority of the birds migrates in the second half of September. Latest migrants recorded in November.

References

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