- Birds of rivers and lakes
- Snake Eater
- Coastal Inhabitants
- Spinning top
- Forest birds
- Rare birds of the region
Altai Territory is a vast territory in the southeast of Siberia. The length of the section reaches 600 km from west to east and approximately 400 km from south to north. Thanks to such dimensions, the Altai Territory boasts a variety of relief. These are mountains and foothills, plains and steppes, taiga thickets and forest-steppes, ravines. Many large rivers flow on the territory: the Ob and Biya, Katun and Charysh, there are more than 13,000 lakes (large and small).
Naturally, thousands of birds have chosen such fertile places. There are more than 320 species of birds in the Altai Territory. There are waterfowl and forest, predatory and migratory, rare, listed in the Red Book. There are birds that settle in the southern regions, and there are lovers of cooler weather.
In the article, we will consider the birds of the Altai Territory with photos and names, take a closer look at species that are rarefound in other natural areas, little known to a wide range of readers.
Birds of rivers and lakes
The territory of the Altai Territory is saturated with water resources, so many birds settle near lakes and on river banks, feeding on small fish or frogs. Many of them are widely known, while others are unfamiliar. These are mallard, red-headed pochard and teal whistler, big merganser and shoveler. These are common birds of the Altai Territory, outwardly similar to domestic ducks, only the plumage is brighter and more diverse. Many hunters see them only as an object of fishing, since their numbers are large, hunting is permitted by law.
In the photo above you can see a beautiful bird of the Duck family called pintail. The tail feathers are sharp-edged and resemble a sharpened awl, hence the species name.
Other waterfowl of the Altai Territory are admired, they are protected in every possible way. This is a screamer swan and a loon, a pink and curly-haired pelican, several species of grebes, a great cormorant. Let's get to know the waterfowl, which has the original name: common goldeneye.
The name of the bird of the Altai Territory reminds many of the famous writer. It is correct to call it common gogol. This is a bird of the Anatidae family, of medium size, with bright white and black plumage. The large head is located on a short neck, the beak is also medium-sized. It builds nests in hollows of trees at a high altitude (up to 15 m), although it sometimes occupies burrows of hares dug right in the ground, it likes to spend time near the water.Gogols live in small groups, only during the molting period they form numerous flocks. They usually lay 5 to 13 greenish eggs.
Considered a migratory bird, but does not fly far from its usual place of residence, looking for water bodies that do not freeze for the winter, and stops there for the winter. Interestingly, males and females spend their winters at different latitudes, so they meet in the spring in the old place for breeding. The nests have been used for several years. The breeding season is from April to May. Only the female incubates the offspring. Gogols feed mainly on invertebrates. The chicks begin to fly out of the nest around August.
There are also quite a lot of birds of prey living in the Altai Territory, as there is enough food for them. These are both day and night hunters of different sizes. The body of such birds is adapted for successful catching of small animals. Sharp claws and a hooked beak will not miss the caught prey. These are varieties of falcons and hawks, ospreys and owls. We list some of them: the owl, long-eared owl, golden eagle and goshawk, black vulture and sparrowhawk, spotted eagle and buzzard, steppe eagle and imperial eagle.
In the photo, the bird of the Altai Territory is the marsh harrier. But there is also field, meadow and steppe. Predators feed on small birds, lizards, frogs and small vertebrates. Let's take a closer look at the bird, whose diet, as a rule, consists of snakes.
This predator is a rather rare bird of the Accipitridae family.Due to fear, it does not approach humans, it is considered an endangered species, therefore it is listed as a bird in the Red Book of the Altai Territory. The size of an individual is from 67 to 72 cm, while the wingspan reaches 190 cm. The coloring of the male and female is the same, but the female is slightly larger.
To live, short-toed eagles have chosen the steppe and forest-steppe zones, the bird hunts over swampy places and valleys.
They nest on tall trees, in places hidden from human eyes. The male and female take turns incubating one, maximum two eggs for forty days.
Parents feed chicks with snakes: snakes, vipers. At the same time, they can bring both live prey and swallowed. The chicks pull their dinner from the throat by the tail, the process can take up to 10 minutes. Swallowing takes even longer - 30 minutes.
Many birds do not have membranes, but live near the water and hunt along the coast. This is a demoiselle crane and a heron, a bittern and a spinning top, a loaf and even a flamingo, a very rare bird - a black stork, which can be seen in the photo below.
Such birds cannot swim, but their elongated legs allow them to calmly walk in shallow water and look for fish or small arthropods passing by. Separately, we can note the kingfisher, which is the most dexterous fisherman. Sitting on a tree branch above the water surface, he quickly dives and grabs a small fish with his beak. He does not have to wander on the water like a bittern, but luck accompanies him more often. Let's go overLet's take a closer look at a photo of a bird from the Altai Territory called a spinning top or a little bittern, and get to know it better.
This is the smallest heron of the Altai Territory. The photo below shows a male top, but the female has a smaller size and a gray-brown color with buffy spots on the body, a yellow beak. The growth of this bird is only 36 cm, and the weight is up to 140 grams. It is a migratory bird wintering in Africa.
The little bittern lives in thickets of reeds and reeds, hiding from prying eyes, therefore it is considered a very shy bird. It flies quite rarely and low, for short distances. Feeds on small fish, frogs, invertebrates, sometimes it can eat a neighbor's chick.
Nests are built either in trees or in dense thickets of reeds. Parents incubate from 5 to 9 eggs alternately, replacing each other for hunting. A month after hatching, the chicks are already trying to fly and leaving the nest.
In the forest-steppe, in the coniferous and deciduous forests of the Altai Territory, many small representatives of birds live. These are the hazel grouse and the nightingale, the dove and the dove, the cuckoo and the blue-roller, the goldfinch and the swift, the woodpeckers and the little bird, the thrush and the starling, the rooks and the crows, the magpies and many others. In the forests there is a lot of food and shelter from the eyes of predators. Many birds have chosen the lower tiers of the forest and clearings. These are black grouse and capercaillie, quail and corncrake, swallows and larks.
In the photo above, you can see the forest horse. This migratory bird of the Altai Territory,smaller than a sparrow. Winters in Africa, in the Sahara region. He likes open clearings or copses, settles near clearings of trees. It flies well, and when courting a female, it interestingly circles in the air with open wings, like on a parachute.
Let's take a closer look at a small bird of the Corvidae family: a nutcracker or a nutcracker, the photo of which is below in the article.
The size of the nutcracker is smaller than that of the jackdaw, but the beak is longer and thinner. The coloring is variegated, on a brown background there are many white spots. The color of the cap on the head is monophonic. It weighs up to 190 grams with a body length of up to 30 cm, of which about 11 cm falls on the tail. The female is slightly lighter, so the spots are not as prominent as the male's.
The main component of the bird's diet is nuts, acorns, berries and seeds of conifers, but sometimes they catch insects and small representatives of invertebrates. Nests are arranged in dense forest thickets. Only the female incubates the offspring, and the male makes sure that she does not starve.
The breeding season starts in April-May. The female lays 3 or 4 oblong-shaped light green eggs. The birds incubate the clutch for up to 20 days, the chicks fledge by the end of June. Nutcrackers love loneliness, it is rare to see small groups. If there is little food, they can fly to the nearest forests.
Rare birds of the region
Due to changing natural conditions and the consequences of human activities, many species were on the verge of extinction, so it was decided to put them on the listbirds protected by state services: in the Red Book of the Altai Territory. Black-throated loon and red-necked grebe, grey-cheeked grebe and spinning top described above, great egret and loaf, pelicans (pink and curly), black stork and flamingo, red-throated goose and lesser white-fronted goose. We will not list all 84 species, but their number makes us think about the need to love not only ourselves, but also take care of our smaller brothers.
In the photo above, you can see the fire. These are large ducks with bright orange plumage, wintering in Issyk-Kul and southern China.
The article provides a brief overview of birds nesting in the Altai Territory. Take care of rare birds and the nature of your native land!