Bird Families

True Whitethroats Sylviidae of the avifauna of Russia

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Another new bird from the trip for me.
Subalpine Warbler or Red-breasted Warbler (I don't know which is more correct in Russian), סבכי רונן, Subalpine Warbler, Sylvia cantillans.
This, I think, is a female. Males are brighter.

▼ Order Passeriformes - Passeriformes

    Family Lark - Alaudidae
      White-winged lark (Melanocorypha leucoptera)

Family Swallow - Hirundinidae

    White-fronted mountain swallow (Petrochelidon pyrrhonota)

Barn Swallow or Killer Whale (Hirundo rustica)

Berengian Yellow or East Siberian Wagtail (Motacilla tschutschensis)

Hawk Warbler.
The underside of the body is whitish with a scaly brown pattern, reminiscent of the color of the chest of a hawk,
for which the bird got its name.

Inhabits Europe eastward to Western Siberia and Central Asia.


Family Long-tailed tits - Aegithalidae

    Long-tailed tit (Aegithalos caudatus)


Family Oriole - Oriolidae
    Common Oriole (Oriolus oriolus)

    Red-tailed Shrike or Red-tailed Shrike (Lanius isabellinus)


Family Corvids - Corvidae
    Kuksha (Perisoreus infaustus)


Family Passerines - Passeridae
    Saxaul Sparrow (Passer ammodendri)

    Reel or Yurok (Fringilla montifringilla)

    Greenfinch or common greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

    Text of the scientific work on "True Whitethroats Sylviidae of the Russian avifauna"

    Russian Ornithological Journal 1999, Express Edition 59: 13-19

    True Whitethroats Sylviidae of the avifauna of Russia

    Novosibirsk Regional Museum of Local Lore, Novosibirsk, 630004, Russia E-mail: [email protected]

    Received October 29, 1998

    Russia and adjacent territories are inhabited by 10-11 species of true warblers (Stepanyan 1978, 1990), attributed to the genus Sylvia. Without going into the history of the classification of this group of birds (Kartashev 1974 and others), it can be noted that it was included in different taxa of passerine birds, and some species of warblers were also isolated in separate generic taxa. To simplify the classification, true whitethroats were later combined into a single genus Sylvia, which led to the emergence of a composite group of phylogenetically distant species, since the characters of many species included in this genus turned out to be inadequate to those of the type species Motacilla atricapilla L. Previously, I revised the family Sylviidae, as a result of which new taxa Locustellidae, Phyl-loscopidae, Hippolidae were formed and an opinion was expressed about the need to subdivide the genus group Sylvia Scopoli, 1769 The arguments in favor of this were the heterogeneous intravital characters of the species included in this group, affecting to a certain extent their external morphology, on which the classification of Whitethroats is primarily based. The information field for this revision was the author's personal observations in nature, collection materials and literary information (Dementyev 1937, Volchanetsky 1954, Portenko 1960, Dolgushin et al. 1972, Vinogradova et al. 1976, Makatsch 1976, Stepanyan 1990, Balatsky 1995a, b, 1997). By the time of the revision, the chick signs of the desert warbler Atraphornis papa remained unknown to me, therefore these signs are absent in the diagnoses.

    On the basis of the differential diagnosis of vital signs, Whitethroats were included in six groups, which were returned or given generic names by type species: Adophoneus Cairo, 1829, Atraphornis Severtzov, 1873, Communis Balatzki, gen. n., Curruca Bechstein, 1802, Horten-sis Balatzki, gen. n., Sylvia Scopoli, 1769.

    Family Slavidae Sylviidae

    Diagnosis. Birds are small in size and dense in build. The beak is strong, of moderate length and thickness, straight, wide at the base and laterally compressed in the central and terminal parts, the edges of the jaws are slightly depressed. Bristles in the corners of the mouth. The frontal plumage is elongated and forms a pile. The wings are of moderate length, pointed; the apex is formed by the 2nd and 3rd or 3rd and 4th flight feathers. The tail is shorter or longer than the wing, consists of 12 tail feathers. The outer tail feathers are slightly shorter than the middle and

    often have white wedge-shaped spots on the webs. The legs are strong, of moderate length, the metatarsus is thickened and covered in front with shields. The claws are small, the claw of the hind toe is developed. The color of the plumage is dominated by brown, gray and ocher tones. The top is dark, the bottom is light. There is no light eyebrow above the eye. The eyes are brown, yellow or reddish-brown. Sexual dimorphism of adults is expressed through coloration or its saturation (males have darker tones in coloration), but it is absent in the plumage pattern. Juveniles are similar to females, streaks are absent.

    Wing length 50-95, tail 45-80, metatarsus 18-26, beak 7-21 mm. Body weight from 7 to 30 g.

    They live secretly in the lower tiers of vegetation, where they nest and get food - invertebrates, berries and plant seeds. Singing is low and short, during the daytime. The song is deterministic, includes melodic sounds. For some species, current flight is characteristic. Calling from crackling sounds. The nest building is simple in architecture, loose, bowl-shaped, and consists of rough stalks of grasses sticking out in different directions. In the lining of the nest there are roots, less often plant fluff, wool and hair. There are 4-7 eggs in a clutch. The color of the shell is greenish or buffy with a mandatory pattern of gray and / or reddish dots, specks and convolutions. The chicks lack embryonic down, their body color is two-color: graphite-gray above and pinkish-gray below. The oral cavity is pink, orange or dirty yellow, small beak ridges are yellow. There are two dark spots on the tongue. Males, as a rule, have a pronounced brood spot and participate in incubation.

    Genus Adophoneus Cairo, 1829

    Diagnosis. Larger than other warblers. On the underside of the body, including the undertail, there is a dark cross-striped pattern. Flight feathers are brown with light ends on tertiary ones. The first flywheel is much shorter than the coverts of the brush. The outermost two or three pairs of tail feathers have white wedges on the inner webs. The eyes are bright yellow. Legs are olive brown. Wing length 80-95, tail 65-75, metatarsus 23-26, beak 11-13 mm. Body weight 20-30 g.

    Current flight is characteristic. The nest is bulky, with the inclusion of woody twigs, located on a bush or tree. The average size of the eggs is 21x15 mm, the shell weight is 0.16 g. The color of the shell is creamy greenish with an indistinct pattern of ocher specks and dark gray specks. The chick has an orange oral cavity, the beak ridges are pale yellow, and the tongue has two dark gray spots.

    The species are common in Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia and adjacent territories.

    Typical view. Motacilla nisoria Bechstein, 1795. Skizz. Entwick. Natur. Syst., 1829, c. 28.

    Synonyms. Curruca undata Brehm, 1831, Curruca undulata Brehm, 1831.

    Differential diagnosis. Species belonging to the genus Adophoneus differ from other true Whitethroats in a characteristic complex of characters

    in the coloration of adult birds (cross-striped pattern on the underside of the body, the eyes are bright yellow), morphometry (the largest wing, tail and metatarsal sizes in the family, the first flywheel is reduced), as well as oology (special shell coloration) and chick characters (coloration oral cavity, tongue and beak rollers).

    Taxonomic notes. The monotypic genus Adophoneus includes the warbler A. nisoria (Bechstein, 1795).

    Genus Atraphornis Severtzov, 1873.

    Diagnosis. Small sizes. The underside of the body is light with a buffy-brownish coating on the chest and sides. The uppertail has a slightly different color than the back. The first flywheel is longer than the brush coverts. Flight feathers are monophonic, sandy-brown with a thin reddish border. The tail feathers are polychrome: the outer pair are white, the next pair have light outer and dark inner webs, the middle pair of tail feathers are reddish-buffy, the rest are brown. The beak is yellow. The eyes are nutty. Legs are pale yellow. Wing length 54-60, tail 45-55, metatarsus 18-20, beak 10-12 mm. Body weight from 7 to 10 g.

    There is no current flight. A miniature nest of complex architecture with a deep tray (lined with plant fluff) is placed on a bush or near the ground. The average size of the eggs is 15.5x12.5 mm, the shell weight is 0.08 g. The shell is white with a clear fine pattern of yellowish-brown and gray irregular specks.

    The species are common in North Africa, Central Asia and adjacent territories.

    Typical view. Curruca Pope Hemprich et Ehrenberg, 1833. Vert. and mountains. distribution turk. alive. 1873, p. 65.

    Synonyms. Salicaria aralensis Eversmann, 1850, Sylvia dorae Füippi, 1865.

    Differential diagnosis. The species belonging to the genus Atraphornis differ from other true Whitethroats by a characteristic complex of characters: from the species Adophoneus, Hortensis gen. n., Sylvia is much smaller in size and oology, from the species Communis gen. n. wing sizes (less than 60 mm), tail (less than 55 mm) and first flight feathers (longer than cover feathers of the hand) and oology, from Curruca wing sizes (less than 60 mm), tail (less than 65 mm), the presence of a red border on flight feathers , oology.

    Taxonomic notes. The monotypic genus Atraphornis includes A. nana (Hemprich et Ehrenberg, 1833).

    Genus Communis Balatzki, gen. n.

    Differential analysis. Medium-sized slips. The underside of the body is light with a brownish coating on the chest and sides. The first flight feather is much shorter than the coverts of the brush. The outermost pair of helmsmen has white wedges on the outer and inner webs. Eyes brown, rim around the eye. Legs are reddish brown. Wing length 67-80, tail 65-70, metatarsus 21-23, beak 7-11 mm. Body weight from 13 to 20 g.

    Current flight is characteristic. A bulky, loose nest is placed on a bush or near the soil. Egg sizes on average 18.0x13.5 mm, shell weight

    0.10 g. The color of the shell is greenish-white or pinkish-white with a clear pattern of yellowish, brown and rounded dark brown spots, marks and specks, distributed more or less evenly over the entire surface of the egg. The chick has a brownish underside, the throat is white, the oral cavity is pink, the beak ridges are yellow, the tongue has two gray spots, the legs are brownish-gray.

    The species are common in Europe, Siberia, Central Asia and adjacent territories.

    Typical view. Sylvia communis Latham, 1787. Gen. Synopsis Birds, suppl.

    1, 1787, p. 287, England.

    Synonyms. Sylvia ciñera Bechstein, 1803, Sylvia cineraria Bechstein, 1807, Curruca cineracea Brehm, 1831.

    Differential analysis. Species belonging to the genus Communis gen. n., differ from other true Whitethroats by a characteristic complex of characters: from the species Adophoneus, Hortensis gen. n., Sylvia in smaller size, oology and coloration of the mouth of chicks, from Atraphornis species with wing sizes (more than 60 mm), tail (more than 55 mm), first flight feather (shorter than the coverts of the brush) and oology, from Curruca with tail sizes (more than 65 mm ), beak (less than 11 mm) and the first flight (shorter than the coverts of the brush), the presence of a rufous border on the flight feathers, oology, and chick characters.

    Taxonomic notes. The polytypical genus Communis gen. The n. includes the gray warbler C. communis (Latham, 1787), the white-tailed warbler C. mystacea (Méne'tries, 1832), the red-breasted warbler C. cantillans (Pallas, 1764) and, possibly, Ruppel's warbler C. ruppeli (Temminck, 1840 ).

    Genus Curruca Bechstein, 1802

    Diagnosis. Medium-sized slips. The underparts are light with a pinkish-buffy or brownish coating on the chest and sides. Flight feathers are monophonic brown with a thin light border. The first flywheel is longer than the brush coverts. The outermost pair of helmsmen has white wedges on the outer and inner webs. The eyes are light brown or hazel. Legs are dark gray. Wing length 60-70, tail 55-65, metatarsal 18-24, beak 11-15 mm. Body weight from 11 to 15 g.

    There is no current flight. A miniature dense nest is placed on a bush or tree. The average size of the eggs is 16.5x12.5 mm, the shell weight is 0.09 g. The color of the shell is creamy white with a clear pattern of yellowish brown and rounded dark brown spots, markings and short winding lines. In the chick, the bottom is white, the oral cavity is orange, the beak ridges are yellow, on the tongue there are two gray spots, the legs are bluish-gray.

    The species are common in Europe, Siberia, Central Asia and adjacent territories.

    Typical view. Motacilla curruca Linnaeus, 1758. Ornith. Taschenbuch, 1802, p. 165.

    Synonyms. Motacilla dumetorum Linnaeus, 1766, Sylvia sylviella Latham, 1787, Sylvia garrula Bechstein, 1807, Curruca molaria Brehm, 1831, Curruca superciliaris Brehm, 1855, Sylvia sórdida Heuglin, 1867.

    Differential analysis. Species belonging to the genus Curruca differ from other true Whitethroats by a characteristic complex of characters: from the species Adophoneus, Hortensis gen. n., Sylvia in smaller size, oology and coloration of the mouth of chicks, from Atraphornis species with wing sizes (more than 60 mm) and tail (more than 55 mm), the absence of a rufous border on flight feathers and oology, from Communis gen. the size of the tail (less than 65 mm), beak (more than 11 mm) and the first flight feather (longer than the coverts of the brush), the absence of a red border on the flight feathers, oology and chick characters.

    Taxonomic notes. The polytypical genus Curruca includes the lesser whitethroat C. curruca (Linnaeus, 1758) and the common warbler C. althaea Hümme, 1878.

    Genus Hortensis Balatzki, gen. P.

    Diagnosis. Large size slips. Contrasting color. The underparts are light with an ocher-gray coating on the chest and sides. The top of the head and the ear coverts are of the same color, but have a different coloration than the back. The first flywheel is longer than the brush coverts. Flight feathers are brown with a light border. Tail feathers are polychrome: the outer pair is white, the next pair have light spots at the ends, the middle pair of tail feathers is blackish. Eyes are yellow or reddish-brown. Legs are gray. Wing length 75-80, tail 70-80, metatarsus 23-25, beak 17-21 mm. Body weight 20-27 g.

    Current flight is characteristic. The nest is bulky, located on a bush or tree. The average size of the eggs is 20x15 mm, the shell weight is 0.14 g. The shell is greenish-white with a distinct rare pattern of greenish-brown rounded ash-gray specks. The chick's mouth is orange-claret, the beak ridges are pale yellow, the tongue has two gray spots. The species are common in the Mediterranean and adjacent territories.

    Typical view. Motacilla hortensis Gmelin, 1788. Syst. Nat., 1788, p. 955, France.

    Synonyms. Sylvia orpea Temminck, 1815.

    Differential analysis. Species belonging to the genus Hortensis gen. are distinguished from other true Whitethroats by the combination of large size, contrasting color of plumage, yellow eyes, and oology.

    Taxonomic notes. The polytypical genus Hotensis gen. n. includes the warbler N. hortensis (Gmelin, 1788) and the Mediterranean warbler N. melanocephala (Gmelin, 1788).

    Genus Sylvia Scopoli, 1769

    Large size slips. The underparts are light with an ocher-gray coating on the chest and sides. The first flywheel is longer or shorter than the coverts of the brush. Flight and tail feathers are monochromatic brown. Eyes are yellow-brown. Legs are gray. Wing length 70-85, tail 55-65, metatarsal 20-23, beak 12-15 mm. Body weight from 15 to 24 g.

    Current flight is characteristic. The nest is bulky, located on a bush or tree. The average size of the eggs is 20.0x14.5 mm, the weight of the shell is 0.13 g.

    The color of the shell is creamy white with a clear pattern of yellowish brown and shapeless dark brown spots, markings and short winding lines. The chick has a burgundy mouth cavity, pale yellow beak ridges, two gray spots on the tongue.

    The species are common in Europe and adjacent territories.

    Typical view. Motacilla atricapilla Linnaeus, 1758. Annus I. Hist.-Natur., 1769, p. 154.

    Synonyms. Sylvia meleuca Rafinesque, 1810, Curruca nigricapilla Brehm, 1831, Curruca rubricapilla Landbeck, 1834, Sylvia naumanni Müller, 1851, Sylvia ruficapilla Naumann, 1853, Sylvia gularis Alexander, 1898.

    Differential analysis. The species belonging to the genus Sylvia differ from other true Whitethroats by the characteristic complex of characters in the coloration of the feather cover, incl. monochromatic helmsmen without white wedges, oology and burgundy coloration of the mouth in chicks.

    Taxonomic notes. The polytypical genus Sylvia includes the black-headed warbler S. atricapilla (Linnaeus, 1758) and the garden warbler S. borin (Boddaert, 1783).

    Taxonomic structure of the family Sylviidae Genus Adophoneus Cairo, 1829

    A. nisoria nisoria (Bechstein, 1795) - Warbler A. nisoria merzbacheri (Schalow, 1907)

    Genus Atraphornis Severtzov, 1873

    A. nana nana (Hemprich et Ehrenberg, 1833) - Warbler A. papa deserti (Loche, 1858) Genus Communis Balatzki, gen. P.

    C. communis communis (Latham, 1787), comb. n. - Gray warbler C. communis icterops (Me'nétrie's, 1832) C. communis rubicola (Stresemann, 1928)

    C. mystacea mystacea (Menetries, 1832), comb. n. - White-billed Warbler C. mystacea turcmenica (Zarudny et Bilkevitsch, 1918)

    C. cantillans cantillans (Pallas, 1764), comb. n. - Red-breasted Warbler C. cantillans albistriata (C.L. Brehm, 1855)

    Genus Curruca Bechstein, 1802

    C. curruca curruca (Linnaeus, 1758) - Lesser Whitethroat C. curruca telengitica (Sushkin, 1925) C. curruca halimodendri (Sushkin, 1904) C. curruca jaxartica (Snigirevski, 1929) C. curruca minula (Hume, 1873)

    C. althaea althaea (Hume, 1878) - Warbler C. althaea caucasica (Ognev et Bankovski, 1910)

    Genus Hortensis Balatzki, gn. n.

    H. hortensis hortensis (Gmelin, 1788), comb. n. - Warbler H. hortensis crassirostris (Cretzschmar, 1826)

    H. melanocephala (Gmelin, 1788), comb. n. - Mediterranean warbler Genus Sylvia Scopoli, 1769 S. atricapilla atricapilla (Linnaeus, 1758) - Black-headed warbler S. atricapilla dammholzi Stresemann, 1928 S. atricapilla riphaea Snigirevski, 1931 S. atricapilla heineken Jardine, 1830 S. borin borin (Bodda) borin borin (Bodda) - Garden Warbler S. borin pallida Herman Johansen, 1907

    As can be seen from the diagnoses of the genera, the priority features in the classification of true Whitethroats were the following: size of adult birds, color of tail feathers, chick characters, and oology. Thus, based on the indicated similar characters within the genus group, it is more likely to assume that this group includes birds with a really similar genotypic environment.

    The other species of true warblers not considered here, inhabiting Western Europe, the Mediterranean and Africa, also cannot remain in a single genus group. For their actual taxonomic status, a similar revision is required with the obligatory involvement of vital signs.

    Balatsky H.H. 1995a. Revision of the family Sylviidae (Passeriformes, Aves) in the Northern Palaearctic // Rus. ornithol. zhurn. 4, 1/2: 33-44.

    Balatsky H.H. 19956. Taxonomic aspect of classification of passerines-different birds through the definition of taxa boundaries // Problems of ornithology. Barnaul: 10-12.

    Balatsky H.H. 1997. Taxonomic volumes of Passeriformes superfamilies of the Northern Palaearctic // Rus. ornithol. zhurn. Express issue 23: 16-20.

    Vinogradova N.V., Dolnik V.R., Efremov V.D., Paevsky V.A. 1974. Determination of sex and age of passerine birds of the fauna of the USSR: Handbook. M .: 1-189.

    Volchanetsky I.B. 1954. Genus Warbler Sylvia // Birds of the Soviet Union.M., 6: 330-388.

    Dementyev G.P. 1937. Complete guide to birds of the USSR. M., JL, 4: 1-336.

    Dolgushin I.A., Korelov M.N., Kuzmina M.A., Gavrilov E.I., Kovshar A.F., Borodikhin I.F. 1972. Birds of Kazakhstan. Alma-Ata, 4: 1-368.

    Kartashev H.H. 1974. Taxonomy of birds. M .: 1-362.

    Portenko JI.A. 1960. Birds of the USSR. M., L., 4: 1-416.

    Stepanyan JI.C. 1978. Composition and distribution of birds of the fauna of the USSR. Sparrow-like Passeriformes. M .: 1-392.

    Stepanyan JI.C. 1990. Summary of the ornithological fauna of the USSR. M .: 1-728.

    Makatsch W. 1976. Die Eider der Vögel Europas. Leipzig, 2: 1-460.

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