Table of contents:
- Steppe birds
- Forest dwellers
- Traveling Birds
- Birds of the Red Book of the Southern Urals
- Curly Pelican
In the Southern Urals, the geography of the earth's surface is quite diverse. This is the presence of mountains, forests and valleys. The climate in the region is continental, cold winters alternate with hot summers. Many rivers and lakes in this zone contribute to a variegated variety of birds. The birds of the Southern Urals can be divided into waterfowl and forest birds, predators and those protected by the Red Book. There are birds that leave their native places in winter in search of a warmer place to live and more food. Others remain true to their range and endure the winter cold with patience.
In the article we will consider the birds of the Southern Urals, the names of some are known to everyone - sparrow, crow, rook, tit, goldfinch, siskin, magpie, etc., others are more rare. People who live in cities and are far from the Southern Urals have not seen many, they have only heard about some. Here we will focus on them.
More than 60 different species of birds live in the steppe and forest-steppe zone. There are many rodents on the plains, which feed on predatorybirds.
The picture shows a white-tailed eagle in flight.
Here are some of the steppe birds:
- white-tailed eagle;
- Saker Falcon;
- black vulture;
- harrier - field, meadow, marsh, etc.
Let's take a closer look at one of the birds of the Southern Urals called Merlin. This is a small falcon with a body length of 24-35 cm.
This is a very rare bird that is wary of dense thickets of the forest, preferring open steppes or banks of rivers and lakes. Like many birds of prey, the Merlin's diet consists of small rodents, birds, lizards, and even catches insects.
The nest of such a bird is not in the trees, but on the ground, among the stones - in the crevices of the rocks. Merlin lives in natural conditions up to 11 years of age, from each clutch the female incubates from 3 to 4 ocher-colored eggs with brown spots.
The color of an adult bird helps it to be invisible among the stones and steppes. From above, the feather coating has a bluish-gray color, on the belly the plumage is white with dark brown spots. Hunts at low altitude, folds wings when picketing.
In the forests of the Southern Urals, birds are divided into inhabitants of larch or mixed forests and conifers. One of the largest representatives of birds is the capercaillie, whose weight reaches 6 kg. The bird was named according to the type of behavior of the male during the mating period. He is so busy looking for a female that he is completely deaf to the stepshunters, which they are incredibly happy about.
In the photo you can see a current capercaillie.
On the forest edges there is a black grouse. It is, of course, much smaller than the capercaillie, but it is also considered a large bird. The weight of the male can reach 1.4 kg. The black grouse most often roams the ground in search of food, but if necessary, flies almost vertically onto the branches. It also feels great in the trees, besides, it flies quickly for a couple of kilometers, although it looks like a chicken.
Let's take a closer look at another bird of the Southern Urals, whose name is the common nuthatch.
This is a nimble little bird that lives in any type of forest. It moves deftly and quickly along the branches and even the trunk of a tree, often seen with its paws upside down on the bark. Its size is only 14 cm, it weighs up to 25 grams. The body is dense with a small head and a long beak. Plumage color may vary depending on the area of residence. Most often, it is an orange lower part, gray wings and a dome of the head, the eye area has a black even strip that turns into a beak, and the chin is light. It is considered a noisy bird, changing several whistles when singing. Nearby you can meet woodpecker, hazel grouse, waxwing, cuckoo, blackbird, nightingale, titmouse, chaffinch and other forest birds.
Some birds have adapted to the harsh conditions of the Ural winters. These are the well-known sparrow and bullfinch, dove and titmouse, crows and jackdaws, magpies, the nuthatch described above andjay, waxwing and hazel grouse. The birds of prey of the Southern Urals also remain wintering. This is a night hunter owl, an owl listed in the Red Book, a falcon and a hawk. Naturally, large birds - capercaillie and black grouse, their relative pheasant, do not go anywhere either. The crossbill in the coniferous forest also has enough cone seeds.
In the photo below, a migratory bird with bright plumage is a goldfinch.
Migratory birds of the Southern Urals include the following individuals: goose, swan, rook, nightingale, swallow, wagtail, quail, lark, starling and siskin, goldfinch and chaffinch, swift and robin. Herons and cranes living near the water also fly to warm nesting places. Thrushes, storks, cuckoos and oriole do not hibernate either. You can list for a long time, since the world of birds in the Urals is huge.
Let's take a closer look at the representative of migratory birds - the wagtail.
Wagtails are of two types - yellow and white. Since the first is quite rare in this territory, let's talk about the white individual. These birds live in small flocks near water bodies, build their nests in rock crevices, under bridges or directly on the soil. Nests have a loose shape, are made up of thin twigs, inside the birds carefully line the bottom with shreds of wool and even hair. They nest twice during the summer. When they prepare for the flight in autumn, they gather in large flocks.
Birds of the Red Book of the Southern Urals
Thanks to the monitoring of rare bird species in this area, ornithologists have added another 74 species of birds to the Red Book of the Southern Urals. This isis associated with the expansion of human activities, illegal actions of people in nature reserves, the number of roads and vehicles, the victims of which are often birds.
In the photo below - demoiselle crane.
Due to effective conservation measures, some individuals listed as rare birds have multiplied and it was proposed to delete them from the book. This cannot but rejoice. For example, avocets have bred a lot, but a limited number of them live in the Southern Urals. And some were transferred to Appendix No. 3 of the Red Book, which means that the number is starting to increase, as an example, we can cite the situation with the stilt, avdotka and shelduck. But the black stork, unfortunately, is excluded from the list for a completely different reason. For several years, he has never been seen in the Southern Urals.
In the photo - a rare bird dipper.
In the Red Book you can also meet the birds described above. These are Merlin and Saker Falcons, the Steppe Eagle and some species of Harriers, etc. With endangered birds of the Southern Urals - with photos, names can be found in the publication released in 2005. Let's get to know one unique bird in more detail.
This species is larger than its pink counterpart. Got its name for the presence of curlicues on feathers on the parietal part of the head.
The plumage of the species is light gray, and the pouch on the beak stands out with a bright orange spot. This is verya large bird, reaching a length of 180 cm, spread wings are almost 3.5 m.
The curly pelican flies beautifully, often soars in the sky with huge wings spread wide. Spends a lot of time on the surface of the water, resting and eating fish. The feathers of the bird get wet in the water, so he tries to raise his wings as high as possible, and then dries with his beak for a long time. Because of this feature, he also does not dive for fish, but waits for her approach. Then he lowers only his beak into the water and grabs the prey. On the ground, it moves funny, rolling from side to side. It rises freely from the surface of the water.
Dalmatian pelicans live in small groups, and only when flying to warmer climes they unite in huge flocks, the number of birds in which can reach 300 individuals. Nests are built by a family of pelicans together. The male brings branches, and the female puts them in an ugly pile, and the parts are fastened together with droppings. You can find nests in reed beds or on floating islands.
The article briefly describes only a few birds living in the Southern Urals. If you are interested in the topic, you can view all the photos of the birds indicated in the article on the Internet. Take care of the environment!