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The Common Swift in the Middle Kirgiz Steppe


Sushkin, P.P. (1908): [The Birds of the Middle Kirgiz Steppe. Turgay Region and and the West of the Urals Region] (Russian). Materials to the knowledge of flora and fauna of the Russian Empire, Dep. Zool. VIII, p. 477-478.


(APUSlist 0288)






The Kirgiz steppe is an area that roughly reaches from the Astrakhan and Orenburg districts in the west until Semipalatinsk in the East.

The Common Swift Cypselus apus, L. [Apus apus] is sporadically distributed as a breeder in all of the area, being present mainly in mountains and very rarely in settlements (only in the NE part, plus single breeders noted at a bell tower in Karabutak). In spring, it has been seen at the River Emba (Kok-Dzhida) where it appeared on 12 May, and at the lower Irgiz river on 17 May*. In autumn, the migration begins around Orenburg in late July and continues in early August, late migrants were seen in early September. In the NE area, Common Swifts depart during the first half of August; at the upper River Irgiz I saw them in the 2nd half of this month, and a single Swift was seen near Kanaly-Kul' on 8 September.

Collected individuals:
1. male, 20 June 1894, Yakshi-Urkach-Basy
2. male,

3. female, 23 June 1894, between Ak-Kuduk and Post Station Damdy (northern Mugodzhary).

Cypselus melba [Apus melba]. Rare vagrant; a single individual was collected by Zarudny near Orenburg on 19 May 1882* (collection in the Zoological Museum of Russian Academy of Science, St. Petersburg).

* There is no explanation in the book which calendar system, i.e. either Julian accepted in Russia before 1918 or Gregorian, was used for dates.

APUSlife 2014, No. 4158
ISSN 1438-2261