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Report on

 

The Birds of Southern Trans-Uralia: Forest-steppe and steppe

 

Blinova, T., Blinov, V. 1997. Ptitsy Yuzhnogo Zaural'ya: Lesotep' i step [Birds of Southern Trans-Uralia: Forest-steppe and steppe] (Russian), vol. 1. Novosibirsk. “Nauka” Siberian Branch, 296 p.
 

(APUSlist No. 2747)

 

by JEVGENI SHERGALIN

 

 

 

Original data on faunistic composition, landscape distribution, and bird population density in Southern Trans-Uralia are summarized in the monograph. Characteristics of distribution, population dynamics and migrations of over 250 bird species, including game species, are given in the book.

 

The main reasons for changes in bird fauna and bird population in the region during the Twentieth Century are considered. There is also an analysis of the negative consequences of Spring hunting.

 

 

Common Swift (p. 152-153)
 

A breeding bird of both zones, its prevalence increases in a southerly direction, from the northern forest-steppe to the steppe zone. In the intervening area it occurs probably only on passage (May-beginning of June). In 1983 the first passage birds appeared on 23 May. In rainy cold weather in 1984 the return passage of the Common Swift was observed on 6 June. Over meadows on saline soils, for example, flocks of about 60 specimens were noted flying in a southerly direction. Average Spring density of passage was 1-2 specimens per (km x h).

 

In the Tobol river valley of the northern forest-steppe feeding Swifts are common over large brackish lakes, surrounded by birch-pine forests (1 spec. / sq km); sometimes recorded in settlements and on shrub-covered bogs (0,1-0,2). In the Tobol River valley of the southern forest-steppe the Common Swift is common in the birch-pine and small-leaf forests, and in pine plantations. Average key indices of abundance increase here almost twice from the beginning to the end of summer.

 

In the northern steppe sub-zone the Common Swift is numerous in the pine forests, common on passage over Festuca-Artemisia steppes and over large brackish lakes. In the southern sub-zone it is also numerous in the pine forests and in adjoining virgin sandy-feather grass steppes. We did not see Swifts In August in the steppe zone.

 

APUSlife 2006, No. 3116
ISSN 1438-2261