Bird Families

Evenkia nature


April evening. The sun dropped below the horizon, and the forest began to plunge into cool silence. In the crystal freshness of spring air, filled with the smells of melted snow, last year's foliage and bark of trees, a stream on the road clearly murmurs and the sad song of a robin is heard, which will freeze with the last reflections of dawn. The forest is darkening, and a birch cut is enveloped in a lilac haze. The craving will begin soon woodcock.

The hunter listens attentively to the sounds of the falling asleep forest. Near to the left, he unexpectedly clearly hears a metallic whistle, a cyclone and a chest double hoarse of a pulling woodcock. Lowering its long beak down, the forest gentleman slowly flew along the edge of the birch forest in search of a friend.

Woodcock nests in mixed forests from Karelia to Primorye and Sakhalin. An isolated population lives in the forests of the North Caucasus. For nesting, it chooses old forests with moist soil, teeming with river streams and swamps.

Woodcock is a large sandpiper of a dense and rounded constitution, with a long beak, a warped tail and legs. The upper part of the body is rusty-brown with a variegated pattern, the thorax and abdomen are yellowish-gray with transverse dark stripes. The eyes are black, large, set high and somewhat backward, the beak is brown, 60-80 mm long. Males and females are colored the same.

Weight of males - 305-440 g, females - 275-300 g.

An uncommunicative bird, it is nocturnal. Perfectly hides, which is facilitated by the patronizing coloration. It makes spring and autumn migrations only at night. Arrives early in the spring, when large thawed patches appear in the forest along the banks of rivers and streams, in clearings. In Ukraine it appears in mid-March, in the Moscow region - at the end of March, in the Pskov region - in mid-April, in the Komi ASSR - at the end of April, in the Urals - in early May. Arrival times in the same area can fluctuate within 10-14 days, depending on the course of spring.

Soon after arrival, males begin regular mating flights - cravings. Usually a woodcock flies out 10-20 minutes after sunset, and each male has its own route and area. On cloudy evenings with a quiet drizzling rain, the thrust begins earlier, woodcocks fly low and slowly. On the contrary, on a cold clear evening with the wind, pulling woodcocks fly high and fast. Usually, the birds' cravings cease with the onset of darkness. In the morning, before dawn, woodcock craving is also observed, but it ends quickly and a small number of males participate in it.

In central Russia, the most active woodcock thrust is observed from April 20 to mid-May, which is explained by the participation in the thrust of migratory woodcocks, following further to the northeast.

Intermittently, woodcock traction continues until the end of June and even until the first ten days of July. It is possible that some of the females have two clutches a year. Occasionally, females also participate in the evening thrust, but they do not fly for a long time, usually silently, they only "chirp", but never "ferret".

Woodcock is considered polygamous. However, this question is not clear, since the reproductive biology of this species has been studied extremely poorly. Birds mate on the ground, which is preceded by a special current behavior of the female and the male.

The female makes a nest on the ground, usually under a bush. The nest tray is lined with dry leaves and moss. Lays 4 large pear-shaped eggs of ocher color with brown spots. Terms of egg laying: from mid-April - in Ukraine, from the end of May - in the Urals, near Krasnoyarsk - in mid-June. Only female incubates, 22-24 days. The role of the male in raising the young has not been established.

A brood of woodcocks leads an extremely secretive way of life and keeps in damp, impenetrable thickets in summer.

Woodcocks feed on earthworms, beetle larvae, butterflies, eat tender shoots of grasses and even berries.A woodcock feeding at night on a road puddle leaves characteristic holes in the soft soil.

In autumn, from mid-September, woodcocks start flying towards wintering grounds. In some places, they form mounds, as a rule, in more open places in comparison with nesting biotopes. Woodcock clumps can be found in alder forests, young birch forests, in thickets of willow forests with aspen along river valleys, and in the south in floodplain oak forests, in gardens and groves. In the districts of the Moscow region, good woodcock rashes can be found with a pointing dog from September 25 to October 10-15. In the Lower Volga region and. in the North Caucasus, the gross autumn passage of woodcock is observed in October.

Woodcock hibernates in the gardens and forests of southern Western Europe, North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, India and Indochina.

Sports hunting in the USSR. Vol. 1 (Moscow, 1975)

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Garshnep (Lymnocryptes minimus)

Appearance: Small kulichny with a straight beak of medium length and low legs. The coloration of the back is blackish-brown with ocher longitudinal stripes and a metallic sheen, the chest is pale yellow with longitudinal streaks, the abdomen is white. Above the eye there is a light stripe, the forehead and crown of the head are black, the legs are yellowish-brown.
The size: Body length = 20-22cm. Less starling.

Features: Garshnep differs from snipe both in small size and in a black stripe on the head, from a gryazovik - in a straight beak.

Habits: The flight is unhurried, uneven. Garshnep is a very secretive, sedentary bird that rarely catches the eye. The frightened hornbeam flies off nearby and sits down in the grass. It feeds at dusk and at night. The female sits tightly on the nest and flies from under her feet. It keeps mostly alone.
Nature of stay: Migrant.

Food: Worms, insect larvae, molluscs. It feeds on muddy places, getting food from the ground.
Breeding area: Forest and forest-tundra landscapes, but inhabits exclusively grassy or sphagnum bogs. On swampy, overgrown horsetail and sedge areas near streams, often completely inaccessible. On migration it prefers silty coasts of inland water bodies and swamps.
Location of the socket and its description: On a bump.
Egg laying time: June July
Eggs color and size: Fawn or olive-brown with reddish streaks, 4x2.5 cm.

Turukhtan (Philomachus pugnax)

Appearance: Relatively large sandpiper with long legs and relatively small beak. The upper part is variegated, blackish-brown with rufous, the thorax with a yellowish and grayish bloom without streaks, the abdomen is white. Legs are yellow or orange in spring, brown in autumn. The female is colored in the same way, but noticeably smaller (slightly larger than the starling), rare brown spots on the chest. In spring, males have a “collar” of elongated feathers of various colors on their necks (a combination of black, white and red colors), bunches of the same feathers are on the back of the head (“ears”), the skin around the beak is bare, covered with “warts”.
The size: Body length = 25-32cm, weight = 100-180g. Less dove.

Features: Turukhtan differs from sandpipers in significantly longer (orange in spring) legs, and from coats - in a comparatively shorter beak and reddish tones in color. It should be borne in mind that the peculiar appearance of males in spring plumage, well known to many, often leads to an error in identifying modestly colored autumn birds.

Habits: Turukhtan is a silent bird. When a person approaches, he energetically removes from the nest. In non-nesting time it keeps in flocks.
Nature of stay: Migrant.

Food: Insects, worms, seeds.
Breeding area: Various landscapes from tundra to steppes. In damp wetlands with grassy vegetation, along the banks of rivers and lakes.
Location of the socket and its description: On the ground. A hole on a hummock lined with grass and leaves, always well hidden by overhanging grass.
Egg laying time: June
Eggs color and size: Olive or greenish with brown spots, 4.5x3 cm.

Great shrew (Limosa limosa)

Appearance: The top is reddish-brown, variegated, the head and chest are rusty-red, the belly is white with dark transverse stripes, the tail is black with a white base. The beak is straight. In flight, a white stripe along the wing and long legs protruding far beyond the edge of the tail are characteristic. In winter, the head and bottom are gray.
The size: Body length = 42-47cm, weight = 250-340g. From a dove.

Features: It differs from the small breech with a straight beak, a black tail with a white base, in addition, a white stripe along the wing and longer legs in flight.

Habits: When a person approaches the nesting site, the greeters with a cry fly out to meet, circle overhead, often sit down on the ground or trees. At the beginning of summer, it feeds on dry places, eating land insects; closer to autumn, it migrates to the shallow shores of reservoirs. Breeds in small colonies.
Nature of stay: Migrant.

Food: Insects, crustaceans.
Breeding area: Forest-steppe, steppe and the south of the forest zone. Through grassy and mossy bogs, damp meadows and lowlands near lakes.
Location of the socket and its description: On a hummock or dry bald patch among sedges.
Egg laying time: May June
Eggs color and size: Olive greenish with blurred brownish spots, 5.5x3.5 cm.

Small bodew (Limosa lapponica)

Appearance: Slightly smaller than the great breech, the beak is slightly curved upward, the belly is rusty-red (like a chest), the tail is white with frequent transverse stripes, there is no stripe along the wing. In winter, it is stormier than the great bodew.
The size: Body length = 37-40cm, weight = 240-300g. From a dove.

Features: It differs from the great bode in a light tail with narrow stripes, a red belly, a slightly upward curved beak, in flight, in addition, the absence of a white stripe on the wing and shorter legs.

Habits: When a danger arises, a bird free from incubation flies out with an alarming cry to meet a person, often sits on bumps and trees, trying in every possible way to distract him from the nest, while the incubating bird hides and flies out only from under his feet. With chicks, both parents circle over a person. It feeds, wandering in shallow water and submerging its beak to the ground in the ground or water. Often forms small colonies, in non-breeding time it always keeps in flocks.
Nature of stay: Migrant.

Food: Insects, worms, molluscs.
Breeding area: Tundra and forest-tundra. In a mossy, highly swampy tundra with lakes, in sedge bogs. On migration it prefers silty and sandy sea coasts and marshy lowlands near lakes.
Location of the socket and its description: On a hummock or on a dry hill, often under the cover of a bush.
Egg laying time: since June
Eggs color and size: Olive greenish or olive with brown spots, 5.5x3.5 cm.

Round-nosed phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus)

Appearance: The beak is long, thin, subulate. The top and chest are blackish-gray with red streaks on the back, the throat and abdomen are white, the front neck is bright red. The male is noticeably paler. In winter, the top is brownish-gray with ocher, the whole bottom is white, there is a black stripe across the eye.
The size: Body length = 19-20cm, weight = 30-40g. From a starling.

Features: It differs from the flat-nosed phalarope in color, in winter (and young ones) it is small in size, with a subulate, relatively long beak and dark legs.

Habits: More often found floating on water, mobile, constantly nodding his head. He is very trusting, lets a person close. From the nest, the bird flies from under the feet of a person, descends not far and quickly returns. In non-nesting time it keeps in flocks and flocks.
Nature of stay: Migrant.

Food: It feeds on insects, crustaceans, molluscs. It feeds on the water.

Breeding area: Tundra and forest-tundra. In damp grassy or hummocky areas around the lakes. On migration occurs in water bodies of various landscapes.
Location of the socket and its description: Usually in a sedge bush. Litter of dry willow stems and leaves.
Egg laying time: since June
Eggs color and size: Olive-buffy with black-brown spots, 3x2 cm.

Phalaropus fulicarius

Appearance: Sizes are slightly larger than round-nosed phalarope, beak is shorter, slightly flattened. The top is variegated, reddish-black, the bottom is rusty-red, the cheeks are white, the “cap” and throat are black. The base of the beak is yellow. The male is much paler, with white on the abdomen and without a black "cap". The winter bird and juveniles are smoky gray above, with a white underside, a black stripe across the eyes and yellow legs.
The size: Body length = 21-23cm, weight = 45-60g. From a starling.

Features: It differs from the round-nosed phalarope in color; in winter, it is large in size, with a short flattened beak, yellow legs and a light gray top.

Habits: More often found floating on water, swimming constantly nods his head.
Nature of stay: Migrant.

Food: Crustaceans, molluscs, insects.