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Kingfisher bird

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Latin name:Alcedo atthis
English name:Kingfisher
Squad:Shellfish (Coraciiformes)
Family:Kingfisher (Alcedinidae)
Body length, cm:16–18
Wingspan, cm:25–30
Body weight, g:23–25
Features:plumage coloring, method of obtaining food, voice
Number, thousand pairs:47–66,5
Guard Status:SPEC 3, CEE 1, BERNA 2
Habitats:Wetland view
Additionally:Russian description of the species

This bird is easy to recognize by its compact body, large head with a sharp long beak, short tail, and, of course, by its multi-colored bright plumage. The dorsal side of the kingfishers is green-blue in color with a metallic tint and nettle, and the ventral side is red, with a white throat spot, the legs are red, and the beak is dark. Males and females are colored the same.

Spread. There are settled and migratory populations. The species includes 6 subspecies distributed in Eurasia, in northwestern Africa, in Indonesia and New Zealand. In Italy, about 5-10 thousand pairs nest.

Habitat. Kingfisher is inextricably linked to the water element. It settles in the immediate vicinity of fresh water sources, along river banks, standing reservoirs and sea lagoons. It usually nests no higher than 600–700 meters above sea level.

Biology. In April-May, over the water along river slopes and cliffs in soft soil, the kingfisher tears a hole 50–100 cm long, where 6–7 white eggs are laid in the nesting chamber. Both parents incubate for 19-21 days. Chicks hatch naked and helpless, leave the hole on the 23–27th day. The main food of the kingfisher is a small freshwater fish, crustaceans and aquatic insects. An unusual way of getting food: the bird sits on an overhead water and patiently waits for the prey to appear, after which it immediately dives into the water after it.

Interesting fact. One of the few species of birds digging holes. A swift flight is accompanied by a series of piercing screams.

Security. By the presence of the kingfisher, one can judge the state of the water - it settles only near clean reservoirs. Therefore, unfortunately, the number of this indicator species is declining in most of Europe.

Related species. Due to its characteristic colorful plumage, the common kingfisher is difficult to confuse with other birds. Occurring in Europe red-billed salmon, or white-breasted kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), and pied kingfisher (Ceryle rudis) are larger, different in color and nest in southern Turkey. (In Russia, it is possible to fly into the Volga delta of the small pied kingfisher.)

Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)

Lifestyle & Habitat

These birds are quite strict and picky when choosing a place of settlement. They settle not far from rivers with fairly fast flow and crystal clear waters. This choice becomes especially important when settling in temperate latitudes.

Indeed, some sections of fast rivers with running waters tend not to be covered with ice even in the most severe times, when there is snow all around and cold reigns. Here kingfishers have the opportunity to survive the winter, being adequately provided with places for hunting and food. And their daily menu includes mainly fish and some other medium-sized aquatic creatures.

But the bulk of kingfishers that have taken root in temperate areas, nevertheless, become migratory. And with the onset of winter, they move to places with more favorable conditions, located in the south of Eurasia and North Africa.

Huts serve as houses for kingfishers. As a rule, they rummage by the birds themselves in quiet places, away from the signs of civilization. However, these creatures do not really like the neighborhood, even with relatives. Some believe that the dwellings of such birds and became the reason for their name.

They spend their days in the earth, are born and breed a new generation of chicks there too, that is, they are shrews. Therefore, it is very possible that the nickname just indicated was once given to them, only with time it was distorted.

Of course, all this is debatable. Therefore, there are other opinions: why is the kingfisher so called. If you take a bird in your hands, you can feel its cold, because it constantly spins around water bodies and is in the ground. In view of this, kingfishers have also been christened born from winter.

No other explanation has yet been found. It is interesting that for the construction of burrows, or rather, to throw away clods of earth, kingfishers find their short tails very useful. They play the role of peculiar bulldozers.

In vivo, the described birds do not exist especially active enemies. The attack of birds of prey: hawks and falcons, usually only young animals are exposed. Biped hunters are also not very interested in these birds.

True, it happens that a bright outfit of such birds makes fans of the exotic of some countries want to make stuffed animals out of them, decorating people's houses and sold as souvenirs. Similar products are popular, for example, in Germany. It is believed that a stuffed kingfisher is able to bring prosperity and wealth to the home of its owner.

However, the French and Italians are not so cruel. They love to keep images of these birds in their homes, calling them paradise.

Enemies of these representatives of the winged fauna are few, but the number of kingfishers on the planet is still decreasing from year to year. They are cramped by the civilization of people, the economic activity of the human race, its irresponsibility and unwillingness to maintain the pristine appearance of nature around itself.

And these birds, even more than many others, are extremely sensitive to the cleanliness of the surrounding space.

Getting food for himself kingfisher showing an abyss of patience. Hunting, he is forced to spend hours sitting on a stalk of reeds or a branch of a bush bending over the river, looking for a possible appearance of prey. "King Fisherman" is the name of these birds in the lands of Britain. And this is a very accurate nickname.

The burrows of these winged creatures are very easy to distinguish from similar shelters of other winged brethren, swallows and swifts, according to the offensive smell emanating from the dwelling. It is not surprising, because kingfisher parents usually raise their cubs on a fish diet. And the half-eaten remains of meals and fish bones are not removed by anyone, and therefore rot in excess and smell disgusting.

The diet of these birds consists of small fish. It can be a bullhead or bleak. Less commonly, they feed on freshwater shrimp and other invertebrates. Their prey can be frogs, as well as dragonflies, other insects and their larvae.

For a day, in order to stay full, the kingfisher should personally catch a dozen or a dozen small fish for himself. Sometimes birds overtake their prey during flight, sinking to the water. For hunting, a peculiar device of their sharp beak is very useful to them.

But the most difficult, even dangerous part of the kingfisher’s hunt is not to track the prey and not to attack it, but to take it off and take off from the water surface with a victim in its beak, especially if it is large. After all, the feather dress of these creatures does not have a water-repellent effect, which means it gets wet and makes the bird heavier.

And therefore, these winged creatures can not gape and long find in the water. By the way, even fatal cases are more than enough, especially among young animals, a third of which die in this way.

Reproduction and longevity

Kingfisher Nest most likely to be found on a sandy, very steep bank, the outlines of which hang directly above the river waters. Moreover, the land here should be soft and not contain pebbles and roots, because otherwise such birds cannot dig holes suitable for growing offspring.

Usually, the length of the course in such a habitation of chicks is about one and a half meters long. And the tunnel itself is strictly straight in the direction, otherwise the hole will not be well lit through the inlet.

The move itself leads to the nesting chamber. It is there that the mother kingfisher first lays, and then hatches in turn with the father of the family of eggs, the number of which usually does not exceed 8 pieces. So it goes, up to the appearance of hatched chicks, three weeks.

The male is more concerned with newborn babies. And his girlfriend, especially immediately, goes to arrange another hole, intended for a new brood. At the same time, the father of the family is forced to feed the older children, as well as the female, which incubates and educates younger descendants.

Thus, the process of reproduction of their own kind continues at an accelerated pace. And in one summer, a pair of kingfishers can show the world up to three broods.

By the way, the family life of these birds is extremely curious. The main responsible figure here is the male. His duties include the maintenance and nutrition of the female and offspring. In this case, the behavior of the spouse herself, by human standards, can be considered very frivolous.

While a male kingfisher is busy with family problems to exhaustion, his girlfriend can enter into relationships with males left without a couple, changing them at their own discretion quite often.

Kingfisher bird has an interesting feature. Such a sign allows in a manner to keep prey to understand: to whom it is intended. The catch caught for itself is usually located in its beak with its head, and the food caught to saturate the womb of the female and the chicks turns its head away from itself.

The offspring of kingfishers mature quickly, so a month after birth, a new generation learns to fly and hunt on its own. It is also curious that usually members of a married couple go separately for the winter, but upon returning from warm countries they join together to raise new offspring with their previous partner.

Kingfishers are able to survive if fatal accidents and diseases do not interfere with their fate, for about 15 years.

General characteristics and field characteristics

A small, slightly larger sparrow, brightly colored bird with a long beak and a short tail. It occurs most often near water. Body length 165-190 mm, wingspan 250-280 mm. The upper side is painted in various tones of blue and blue with an admixture of greenish. The flying bird attracts attention with the bright turquoise color of the lower back and the epigastric. White spots on the sides of the neck are clearly visible. The underside of the body is red or orange-brown. The beak of males is uniformly black; in females, the mandible is partially or completely red. Paws are bright, orange-red. In nesting places flies low over open water. Less often rises to a height of 10-25 m, overgrowing thickets of coastal shrubs or trees, the flight is fast, straightforward, but maneuverable, due to which among the crowns of trees the kingfisher flies as fast as in open space. When hunting from the air and choosing a place for a hole, it hangs in one place for several seconds in a fluttering flight. When it flies to a hole or a landing, which is usually located above the flight level, it switches to a glide-gliding flight, and, after making a few short flaps of its wings, takes off and lands. Sits for a long time, resting, on branches, roots or stones, often inside a bush under branches hanging over the water or plexus of roots. Walks very rarely on the ground, moving in fast, short steps. It usually hunts from the dungeons located near the water itself, diving vertically or, more often, at an acute angle to the surface. A flock does not form, keeps in pairs in nesting time, chicks of one brood can keep a compact group only a few days after leaving the nest, during the autumn migration and wintering several individuals can concentrate on fish-rich ponds, adhering to the individual protected territories.

The voice of an ordinary kingfisher is a set of urges and screams, based on the syllable “tii” or “tsi,” the duration, height and frequency of repetition of which depends on the situation.

Chicks sitting in a hole emit a continuous, babbling trill, audible at a distance of several meters.

From other kingfishers of the fauna Vost. Europe and North. Asia is notable for its small size and color; it is impossible to confuse it with other birds.

Coloring. Male and female in mating attire. The forehead, crown and nape are bluish-olive or greenish-black, each feather with a wide blue apical stripe and a blackish or black-blue apex. The frenum is reddish-brown, with a whitish spot in front of the eye, trimmed below by a narrow black stripe slightly extending beyond the eye. The spot under the eye and the ear coverts are rusty brown, behind is a white strip extending along the sides of the neck to the neck, the white color of the strip is often with a cream or reddish coating, intensifying towards the neck, where individual feathers have rusty-red tops. A wide "mustache" extending from the base of the beak to the sides of the goiter, bright blue or dark blue, feathers with narrow blackish peaks, often forming a "scaly" pattern. The middle of the mantle, the back and lower back are azure blue. From the mantle to the lower back, the color becomes brighter. The upper tail coverts are cobalt blue, with a lighter azure blue top.

The tail feathers are dark blue or cobalt blue with a black shaft, the underside of the shaft and the tail of the helms are blackish or dark gray. The sides of the mantle and scapular feathers are dull bluish-green, scapular feathers sometimes with barely noticeable pale blue spots on the tops. The internal wearer, apex, a narrow strip along the rod on the external wearer (I primary flywheel as a whole) of the flyworms are blackish, the tops of the internal weights (10-12 minor flywheels) are pale, greenish-blue. External flyweeds were dull greenish-blue. The underside of the feathers is dark gray, with a cream or pinkish-cream border of the inner fan, not reaching the top of the feather. The upper coverts and humeral are greenish-blue, and from the large upper coverts of the secondary wing-wing to the coverts of the propatagium, the color gradually changes from bluer to greener. Small, medium, and innermost large upper covers of minor flyworms with a small shiny sky-blue speck on top. 8 or 9 outer large upper upper coverings of secondary flywheels with a light blue border at the top of the feather (width up to 1.5 mm) and the distal half of the outer fan (width up to 0.5 mm). Primary fly coverts are bluish-green, always noticeably different from the primary flywings of the primary fly with a greener basic tone. The feathers of the wing are greenish-blue with a blackish center. The chin and throat are white with a dark yellow or reddish tinge. The goiter flanks are green-blue, the rest of the plumage of the lower body and lower covering wings are light brown, dark yellow or red, the plumage of the ventral side of the body is the darkest on the chest and the brightest in the middle of the abdomen. The rainbow is dark brown, the paws are orange-red or coral red, the claws are pinkish-gray or pink-brown. The beak of males is completely black or brownish-black; sometimes there are reddish spots on the base of the mandible. In females, the lower part of the mandible, in some individuals, the entire mandible is reddish, orange-red, or brownish-red. The pharynx is orange red or red.

Winter outfit. It looks like a mating, but fresh plumage looks more matte and with a large greenish tint. As a result of post-nuptial molting, the front side of the tarsus becomes completely brown-black or with the same color spots.By spring, the plumage wears out and becomes brighter and bluer, brown-black spots on the legs disappear.

Nesting outfit. Chicks hatch naked, at the age of 22-24 days they look completely feathered. The nesting outfit looks like a mating outfit. Unlike adult birds, in chicks the upper side of the body is more matte and greener. The apical bands on the feathers of the forehead, crown, and nape are narrower, greener, and more sharply demarcated from the brownish border at the apex. The back and nails are paler, with less luster. External flyweeds, shoulder and upper covering wings are more greenish. Feathers of a breast with dirty gray and greenish-gray tops, often forming a "band". The forearm and the upper side of the paw are blackish-brown or brown-gray with a violet hue, the lower side of the paw is pinkish-gray or pale dark yellow. The pharynx is pale, pinkish-gray. The beak of males and females is blackish or brown-black, with a whitish tip.

When comparing the color of the plumage of the dorsal side of the body, it is possible to determine the gender of the fully feathered chicks of one brood. Birds with a greener or olive shade of plumage are females, birds with a bluer and brighter plumage are males.

The first winter and first wedding attire are formed as a result of partial autumn molting, covering the contour feather and tail feathers. In the case of incomplete molting of the contour pen, it differs from that of adults by the presence of a certain number of youthful feathers on the head (greener and narrower apical strips) and chest (the tips of the feathers are dirty gray or green-gray). An orange-red spot on the mandible of the females appears approximately 2 months after departure from the nests, the legs turn red at the beginning of the second calendar year of life.

Structure and dimensions

It is fully developed primary flyworm 10, the distal primary flywheel is rudimentary, but always clearly visible. The wing top is usually formed by flywheels II and III, wing formula II-III-IV-I-V. III-II-IV-I-V. III-II-I-IV-V. rarely II-I-III-IV-V. and III-IV-II-I-V. Minor flywheels 12. The helmsmen are usually 12; in some individuals, 13–15 (Doucet, 1971). In 59 (96.7%, n = 61) adult males from the Ryazan region. there were 12 helmsmen, 2 (3.3%) - 13, 67 females (93%, n = 72) - 12 helmsmen, 4 (5.6%) - 13 and 1 (1.4%) - 14 steering. Of 447 chicks, 14 helmsmen had 5 (1.1%), 13 - 21 (4.7%) and 12 - 421 (94.2%).

The wing length of adult males is slightly less than that of females (Table 10). The wing length (mm) of birds caught in the fall: in the south of Kazakhstan (S. Erokhov, personal communication) - young 70-83, an average of 75.8 (n = 426) and adult birds 70-80, an average of 75, 7 (n = 38), in the northwest The Black Sea - young birds 74-80, on average 76.8 (n = 45), and adults 74-78, on average 76.3 (n = 3, original). The tail is slightly rounded, the outer tail is 2-6 mm shorter than the central ones, the central pair of helmsmen is 0.5-1 mm shorter than the second pair. Tarsus short, fingers with short curved sharp claws. The beak is sharp, laterally compressed, the height of the beak at the front edge of the nostril is 7.0–8.2 mm, width - 5.8–6.3 mm. The length of the beak is significantly longer in males than in females (Numerov, Kotyukov, 1984, Cramp, 1985). In young birds, the length of the beak (from the front edge of the nostrils) is 26.2-32.7, on average 29.5 mm (September, Odessa region, n = 45), the beak of young birds is shorter than that of adults (Table 10 ), and reaches its full length in the first winter. When digging holes, the beak during the nesting season is shortened by 1.5-2.5 mm.

Table 10. Common Kingfisher. Dimensions (mm)
Region (source)FloorWing lengthBeak lengthPivot LengthTail length
nlimaveragenlimaveragenlimaveragenlimaverage
A. a. ispida
Western Europe (Cramp, 1985)male5176–8178,32630–3633,5129,4–10,910,21335–3936,5
Western Europe (Cramp, 1985)female6376–8178,23430–3532,7239,6–11,210,23234–4037,1
Estonia (Kespike, oral communication)male1375–8278,11231–4135,9128–119,8935–4036,9
Estonia (Kespike, oral communication)female378–8079,3330–3933,729–1110236–3937,5
A. a. atthis
Western Europe, North – West Africa (Cramp, 1985)male1274–7976,81035–3936,2
Western Europe, North – West Africa (Cramp, 1985)female1375–8077,51033–3734,9
Ryazan region (original)male9473–8076,010528,5–36,632,9739,2–10,79,94434–3835,4
Ryazan region (original)female17174–8076,713929,2–34,832,1889,3–10,59,95634–3735,4
Kazakhstan (Korelov, 1970, Erokhov, Gavrilov, 1984)male2070–76
Kazakhstan (Korelov, 1970, Erokhov, Gavrilov, 1984)female1971–781130–40119–111133–40
Kyrgyzstan (Yanushevich et al., 1960)male and female770–76728–3579–10730–35
A. a. bengalensis
China, Indonesia (Cramp, 1985)male1969–7672,11831–3533,4
China, Indonesia (Cramp, 1985)female4169–7672,43231–3532,2
Sakhalin (Gizenko, 1955)male and female571–74,5527,7–35532,7–40

The body weight of the birds. Belarus: males (n = 5) 36-45, average 39.6 g, female 43 g (Fedyushin, Dolbik, 1967), Transcarpathia: young males 35.5 and 37 g (Portenko, 1950), Odessa region: young (n = 46) 24.6–40.2, average 33.2 g, adult females (n = 3) 34.8–41.2, average 38.8 g, Ryazan region: adult males (n = 16) 31.1-36.1, average 33.6 g, adult females (n = 14) 33.6-44.1, average 37.3 g (original data), Stavropol Territory: males ( n = 2) 40 and 48 g (Bichev, Skiba, 1990), Kazakhstan: males (n = 3) 27-32, average 30.3 g, females (n = 2) 32 and 34 g, adults in autumn (n = 37) 25.0-37.9, on average 30.3 g, young in the fall (n = 464) 20.6-40.9, average 30.3 g, young and adults in sleep (n = 55) 26.9-39.4, average 30 g (Korelov, 1970, Erokhov, oral communication), Kyrgyzstan: males and females (n = 7) 35-35 g (Yanushevich et al. , 1960), Altai: male 38.5 g (Folitarek, Dementiev, 1938), Primorye: young bird - 21 g (Belopolsky, 1950), Kuril Islands: young birds (n = 2) 30.4 and 33, 6 g (Nechaev, 1969). Significant seasonal changes in average body weight were noted: it is the smallest in June-August (35.8 g), the largest - in December-February (43.7), in Switzerland the average body weight increases in females during egg laying (March-July) up to 42.9–47.3 g, in other seasons not exceeding 40 g (Reynolds, 1975, Bezzel, 1980).

The sequence of change of orders is as follows: nesting - first mating - mating (final).

On the 3rd day of the life of the chicks, pigmented spots of the carpal and ulnar pterilium appear, on the 4th – 5th day all pterilia are indicated, on the 6th – 7th day, hemp stems appear, on the 10th day hemp feathers, on the 14th hemp appears on all days. On the 16-27th day, the tubes of the dorsal pterillia begin to open, by the age of 20 days the tubes on all pterilia burst and fluff tubes appear. At the age of 24–25 days, the nesting outfit is fully formed.

Post-juvenile molting, covering all or most of the contour plumage of the head and trunk, part of the tail, begins 1.5-2 months after departure from the nests (for the earliest broods - at the end of July) and ends in October-December. Sometimes it is interrupted during the winter and ends in April-May. After incomplete molting of the contour feathers of the nest attire, some of the feathers of the chest, the bottom of the front of the neck, feathers of the undertail and sometimes part of the feathers on the crown remain non-molded. Of the steering, only a couple or 2-4 pairs of central feathers molt. After a winter stop, molting can again change some of the central steering (double shift), as well as part of the shoulder feathers and in some individuals, the IV feathering.

After mating usually begins during nesting, in late June-August. Most often, it begins with a change in the small contour pen, less often the contour and fly feathers begin to change at the same time, or the contour feathers fall out after changing several feathers. Shedding of the contour plumage of the head and body begins with the loss of feathers on the crown, then spreads sequentially to the sides and the bottom of the head, neck, goiter, chest, supra- and undermine, as well as the belly. Shedding of small contour feathers is gradual, i.e. on the same pterillia, old and new feathers can be found at the same time, as well as feathers at the stage of the tube and brush. On the forehead, all feathers fall out and grow at the same time.

The primary swing change begins simultaneously in two centers and goes from X to V and from IV to I. Usually the next feather falls out when the previous one grows by at least 2/3 of the full length. Sometimes by the end of the molting period, in October - mid-December I, V-VII remain non-shedding and are replaced before the next annual molt or at its beginning. Minor flyworms also molt from two centers: from the 1st to the 3rd and from the 10th to the 4th and the 12th. The 10th minor flywheel falls simultaneously with the IV and X primary, the 1st minor - with the II and VII primary and the 7th secondary or after the change of the 12th secondary flywheel. The last 3-5th minor ones fall after the last molt of the primary fly. The molts 3-5th, less often 1-8th and 12th minor flyworms that did not fade by the time of the winter delay, as well as some primary flyworms, are replaced in May-June of the next year. Feathers of the winglet are replaced after the change of IV – III feathers.

Steering feathers are replaced without a specific sequence, moreover, several feathers may fall out at the same time. The beginning of molting of the helmsmen is noted shortly after the beginning of molting of the flywheels, the end is during the change of the secondary minor flyworm. Large upper coverts of secondary flywaves change simultaneously with the change of the corresponding secondary fly feather, but usually they begin to molt after the 9th secondary flyover occurs and end before 6-7 secondary flywheels fall out, while the order of change of coverts corresponds to the order of change of the secondary flywheels themselves. The average growth rate of individual primary feathers is 2.5 mm, secondary - 2 mm, and tail feathers - 1.5 mm per day. Each feather reaches its full length in 20-25 days. The total duration of molting is 3-4 months. There may be exceptions to this rule. So, in Oksky app. in III, IV, IX, and X adult birds caught before departure, the primary, as well as (7) 9-11 (12) minor were new, completely overgrown, the remaining feathers were old (Doucet, 1971, Bezzel, 1980, original data) .

Subspecies taxonomy

Different authors distinguish from 7 to 9 subspecies (Stepanyan, 1975, Fry, 1980, Howard, Moore, 1980), slightly differing in size and color. In East Europe and North. Asia is inhabited by three subspecies.

1.Alcedo atthis ispida

Alcedo ispida Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., Cd. 10, p. 115, Sweden.

The largest and darkest colored subspecies. West Europe east to the Baltic states, west. parts of Belarus and Ukraine, Center. Romania.

2.Alcedo atthis atthis

Gracula atthis Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat., Ed. 10, p. 109, Egypt.

Slightly smaller and lighter than ispida. Northwest Africa, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Syria, Asia Minor, in Europe from the southern and eastern borders of the previous form to the east to the North-West. China (Xinjiang), app. Himalayas, south to the Persian and Oman gulfs, Pakistan, North-West. India.

3.Alcedo atthis bengalensis

Alcedo bengalensis J.F. Gmelin, 1788, Syst. Nat., 1, p. 450, Bengal.

The blue color is slightly darker than that of ispida, the smallest of the three named subspecies. From the Baikal region east to the coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, the islands of Japan, Ryukyu, Taiwan, Hainan, the Philippines, the Great Sunda, Nicobar, Andaman, in the continental part - Korea, East. and southeast. China, Indochina, Bhutan, Nepal, North-East. India south to r. Godavari.

The remaining subspecies are distributed in the tropics of the eastern hemisphere: A. a. taprobana - South India, Sri Lanka (4), A. a. floresiana - Small Sunda Islands (5), A a. hispidoides - Sulawesi, Moluccas, coast of New Guinea and Melanesia (6), A. a. salomonensis - Solomon Islands (7).

Taxonomy notes

The geographic variability of the common kingfisher is largely of a clinical nature. The individual variability of both color and size often overlaps with geographic variation. A. Ya. Tugarinov and E.V. Kozlova-Pushkareva (1935) suggested using the name margelanica for birds from the Balkhash, Ferghana and Kashgar, different from A. a. atthis light coloration of the dorsal side of the body. However, A.M. Sudilovskaya (1951) rejected the reality of the existence of this form. Populations from Central Asia, Afghanistan and Kashmir are sometimes isolated as pallasii, believing that they have a shorter beak and a lighter coloration of the lower body, however, in this case, the range of individual variations is also insufficiently taken into account. Various authors (Howard, Moore, 1980, and others) isolated the japonica form, which inhabits Sakhalin, Japan, Taiwan and differs from bengalensis by its supposedly longer wing.

Meanwhile, O.A. Austin and Kuroda (Austin, Kuroda, 1953), comparing the sizes of 20 Japanese and a large series of East and Central Asian birds, did not find significant differences between the island and continental populations. Some authors (Voous, 1960 and others) recognize the monotypic species - the semi-cervical kingfisher (Alcedo semitorquata) - only for the South African subspecies of the common kingfisher (A. a. Semitorquata), which differs from other subspecies in slightly smaller sizes, a dark beak in both sexes and blue ear coverts. Sometimes the semi-cervical kingfisher, together with the polytypic Alcedo atthis, is isolated as an independent subspecies (Fry, 1980b, Cramp, 1985).

Spread

Nesting range. Eurasia from the Atlantic to the Pacific. North in the UK up to 57 ° N (south of Scotland), in Norway up to 59 ° N, in Switzerland and Finland up to 61 ° N, in the European part of Russia up to 60 ° N, east of the Volga up to 58 ° N , in Zap. Siberia to 58-59 ° N, in Central Siberia and the Far East to 56 °, in the East. Siberia up to 58 ° N, Sakhalin and Yuzh. Kuril Islands. All in. Africa island nesting sites: in Morocco to the south up to 29 ° N, in Algeria and Tunisia up to 36 ° N, further east a narrow intermittent strip along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In Asia, the southern border passes through sowing. part of the Sinai Peninsula, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan. Breeds in India, Sri Lanka, on the Andaman, Nicobar, Great Sunda Islands, in New Guinea, on the Solomon Islands. The eastern part of the range covers Indochina, Japan, Taiwan, Hainan, and the Philippines. Arid areas and highlands (above 2,000 m above sea level) are avoided (Fry, 1980, Cramp, 1985, Fig. 53).

Figure 53. Distribution area of ​​common kingfisher:
a - nesting range, b - wintering area. Subspecies: 1 - A. a. ispida, 2 - A. a. atthis, 3 - A. a. bengalensis, 4 - A. a. taprobana, 5 - A. a. floresiana, 6 - A. a. hispidoides, 7 - A. a. salomonensis.

In East Europe and North. Asia is distributed from the western borders of the former USSR to the Pacific Ocean. The northern border of the breeding range has not been studied enough; in most cases, it does not rise above 60 ° N. - to the north of Estonia in the Baltic states, south of the Leningrad region, White Lake. in the Vologda region (Kumari, 1949, Mikhailov, 1976, Malchevsky, Pukinsky, 1983). B.M. Zhitkov and S.A. Buturlin (1901) indicated nesting on Lake. Syamgo, at the same time, located south of the river. Gumbarka occurs in the summer, but does not nest (Noskov et al., 1981). A flying specimen is marked on the river. Urez (64 ° 20 ′ N) in the Arkhangelsk Region (Pleshak, 1987). It nests in the south of the Kostroma and Kirov regions. In summer, it was repeatedly and for a long time recorded in the Kungursky and Kishertsky districts of the Perm region. (Shepel et al., 1987). It is caught on the river. Kedrovka in Pechoro-Ilychsky zap. (Teplova, 1957). Nar in the middle Urals Sysert (56 ° 40 ′ N) (Bolshakov et al., 1969). Information on nesting in the Tyumen region. absent, but there is no reason to completely deny its possibility. Found near Omsk and north to the river. Vasyugan (Gyngazov, Milovidov, 1977), nests on the river. Ket (Moskvitin et al., 1977), on the Yenisei River was noted at the village. Verkhne-Imbatskoe (Skalon, Sludsky, 1941) probably nests at the village of Vorogovo (Rogacheva et al., 1978). In East Siberia recorded meetings in the Bratsk region (Shvedov, 1962) and nesting in the bass. R. Top Angara (Tolchin et al., 1979), on the river Tokko (58 ° 40 ′ N) and meetings near the mouth of the Tyan (59 ° N) and Nar. Chyulbyu (Uchur tributary 57 ° 45 ′ N) (Vorobyov, 1963). On Sakhalin, to the north, up to 52 ° N, on the Kuril Islands, to. Iturup.

Figure 54. The habitat of the common kingfisher in Eastern Europe and North Asia:
a - nesting range, b - insufficiently clarified border of the nesting range, c - flies.

In the Carpathians, it was recorded up to a height of 700 m above sea level, in the Caucasus - up to 1,800 m, in the Pamir-Alai - up to 2,300 m, in the West. Tien Shan - up to 1,200 m above sea level (Sudilovskaya, 1951, Yanushevich et al., 1960, Strautman, 1963, Ivanov, 1969, Abdusalyamov, 1971). Avoids waterless areas (Karakum, Kyzylkum), but here sporadically nests along irrigation canals.

Due to climate warming, the kingfisher has moved northward in Fennoscandia, Estonia, and the Leningrad Region. (Kumari, 1949, Malchevsky, Pukinsky, 1983, Cramp, 1985). From the third quarter of the 19th century, the northern border of the range in the Baltic countries advanced more than 400 km to the north (Kumari, 1949).

In West In Europe, Africa and southern Asia, the kingfisher is a settled, wandering and only partially migrating bird. Migratory populations winter mainly within the range of the species; individual individuals reach the northern shores of the Red Sea and in the Nile Valley 15 ° N (Fry, 1980; Cramp, 1985). Where in the places of nesting ponds do not freeze, some birds winter. This is noted in Estonia, Latvia (Kumari, 1939, 1978, Strazds, 1983). In some mild winters, kingfishers were recorded in winter in different regions of Belarus (Dolbik, 1974). In Belovezhskaya Pushcha it occurs almost every year in winter (Gavrin, 1957). In West Ukraine regularly winters in the Dniester, Prut, Tissa, Zap. The Bug and on the Volyn-Podolia rivers (Strautman, 1963, I. Gorban, personal communication), was recorded in the winter near the mouth of the river. Oster in the Chernihiv region (Babko, 1991).

Winters in the North. Black Sea coast, on the Black Sea coast of the Caucasus (Sudilovskaya, 1951). It occurs in Azerbaijan every winter, especially often in the Kura-Araksin lowland (Khan-Mamedov et al., 1970).It also winters in the south of Kazakhstan, in Turkmenistan, in the south of Uzbekistan, in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (Geptner, 1956, Meklenburtsev, 1958, Potapov, 1960, Yanushevich et al., 1960, Abdusalyamov, 1971). The usual wintering view of the Angara Valley, observed in the winter on the river. Bodaibinke, winters in all basins of the East. Siberia (Gagina, 1956.1961, Tolchin et al., 1979). In winter, on Sakhalin, migrates to the south of the island or to ice-free sections of rivers (Gizenko, 1955). In some mild winters, wintering was observed in the middle lane of the European part of Russia: near Smolensk (Grzhibovsky, 1914), in the okrug. Moscow (Ptushenko, Inozemtsev, 1968) in the Volga-Kama region (Garanin, Grigoryev, 1977).

Leaves wintering places in February or March. In Ukraine, the first meetings are recorded in late March - early May, on average in the Dnipropetrovsk region. - April 15, in the okr. Kiev - April 20 (Borovikov, 1907, Danilovich, 1933, cited by: Sudilovskaya, 1951) in the Kharkov region. - April 19-May 27 (Somov, 1897). Kingfishers appear on freezing reservoirs of Ukrainian Polesie in early April (Strautman, 1963), in Belarus - on April 4-12 (Fedyushin, Dolbyk, 1967). In Estonia, in some years, appear on nesting sites in mid-March (Kumari, 1949). To the Voronezh region birds arrive in the second half of April (Barabash-Nikiforov, Semago, 1963), to Mordovia - at the end of April (Serebrovsky, 1918). It was noted on April 17, 1887 near Buguruslan (Karamzin, 1909), on April 26, 1958 in the Volga-Kama Zap., On April 28, 1928 and May 1, 1927 Kokshaga (Garanin, Grigorv, 1977). In Oksky app. (Ryazan region) the first meetings were recorded April 11 - May 16, on average for 35 years of observation - April 25 (original data), in the Moscow region. April 24 - May 11, on average (n = 18) - May 1 (Ptushenko, Inozemtsev, 1968). Tomsk has the earliest arrival on May 2, 1957, the average date of the first meeting (n = 17) is May 8 (Gyngazov, Milovidov, 1977), in Altai near Novensky - May 11, 1913 (Sushkin, 1938), Primorye in the west. “Cedar Pad” - April 9-26 (Panov, 1973), in Sudzukhinsky Zap. April 19-22 (Belo-Polish, 1950, Litvinenko, Shibaev, 1971). Spring migration and arrival of birds to nesting sites usually stretches for 1–1.5 months. So, on the lake. M. Sorbulak (south of Kazakhstan) in 1981-1986 migratory individuals appeared on April 9-30, the last May 18-31, the total duration of the spring arrival in different years ranged from 23 to 53 days (S. Erokhov, personal communication).

Autumn departure of young people begins shortly after departure from the nests. In the middle lane of the European part of Russia, the chicks of the earliest broods fly away in June. The nestling, ringed at the end of June in the Ryazan Region, was found in July 630 km to the south, in the Rostov Region. In southern Kazakhstan, the first migratory yearlings appear July 7 - August 15 (S. Erokhov, personal communication), in app. The Tigrovaya Balka in southern Tajikistan, the number of kingfishers increases in the second half of August, apparently due to birds arriving from the north (Potapov, 1959). In the south of Primorye, the autumn shed begins in the last days of August (Panov, 1973). Chicks of late broods start their departure in September. The last meetings were noted in Belarusian Polesie on October 17 (Fedyushin, Dolbyk, 1967), in the Voronezh Region. and Volga-Kama Krai - in October (Barabash-Nikiforov, Semago, 1963, Garanin, Grigoryev, 1977), in the Bryansk region. - November 26 (Lozov, Shpilenok, 1990), in the Chernihiv region. - in the 1st decade of October (Babko, 1991), in the Moscow region. - September 20-29 (Ptushenko, Inozemtsev, 1968), in the Ryazan region. - in mid-October (the latest date is November 8, 1986, original data), in the Tomsk region. - October 12 and 14 (Gyngazov, Milovidov, 1977), in the south of Kazakhstan - September 13 - November 8 (Erokhov, Gavrilov, 1984), in Altai - September 11 (Sushkin, 1938), in the west. “Cedar Pad” - October 6-12 (Panov, 1973).

Prior to migration, most young kingfishers make non-migratory post-nesting migrations. So, a bird tagged in the Ryazan region was discovered after 19 days, 162 km to the west - in the Moscow region. The direction and range of autumn flights of birds from different points of the range vary. Kingfishers from Latvia were found in southern Norway (about 950 km), in the Netherlands (1 482 km), in Italy (1 852 km), from the Kharkov region. - 959 km to the southeast, in Adjara (TsKAN).

Kingfishers from Oksky Zap. during autumn migration, they move south-west at a speed of 7-30 km per day (Numerov, Kotyukov, 1979), some of them were found in September in Bulgaria (1663 km), in the north of the Sinai Peninsula (2709 km) and in the Nile Delta (2 681 km). Birds from the East. Siberia and the Far East migrate to the Philippines and Indonesia (Cramp, 1985), some of which may reach New Guinea (H.L. Bell, personal communication).

Habitat

In nesting time, it populates standing and fluid, usually fresh or slightly saline reservoirs with clear water (streams, rivers, canals, irrigation ditches, lakes, reservoirs). It lives both on the plain and in the mountains, at altitudes of 700-2300 m above sea level. Indispensable conditions for nesting are, firstly, the presence of steep slopes of soil or piled from clay and (or) sand, cliffs and other outcrops of soil located directly near water bodies or at a distance of up to 1 km from them, and secondly, the presence of sections of water bodies with smooth surface protected from wind and slow flow. It prefers rivers and streams with woody-shrubby coastal vegetation, areas of calm flow or quiet backwaters, convenient for hunting in the form of overhangs in the form of branches, roots or trees and shrubs hanging over the water (Kotyukov, 1979). When nesting on mountain rivers with fast currents, cliffs and hunting areas that are convenient for nesting can be located at some distance from each other.

During migration and wintering, it can also be found in river deltas, on salt lakes, estuaries overgrown with reeds and cattail, on the coast and in shallow sea bays, in mangroves. During the flight in the mountains, it was found at an altitude of 3800 m above sea level. (Abdusalyamov, 1971).

Number

In places suitable for nesting, an ordinary bird, at the northern border of the range is rare. There are few specific data on quite vast territories. In Estonia, on the river. Achya on a river section 35 km long inhabited by kingfishers in 1938 19-20 pairs nested (Kumari, 1939), in Latvia Gauja 1 pair was 5-6 km long (Wilks, 1981). On the river Oh, in Transcarpathia, a few (Portenko, 1950), on a 25-kilometer stretch of the river. Vereshchitsa (the Dniester River Basin, Lviv Region) nests 4–5 pairs (Gorban, personal communication), in Moldova on the three-kilometer stretch of the steep bank of the Kuchurgan estuary, 5 inhabited holes were found, on the site of the river. Dniester from Tiraspol to s. Slobodzeya (30 km) in June, 52 individuals were recorded (Averin, Ganya, 1970). In Azerbaijan, the density of the summer population of the kingfisher varies from 3.5 individuals per 10 km in the Lesser Caucasus region to 16.4 in Talysh (Khanmamedov et al., 1970).

In the Chernihiv region on a 50-kilometer stretch of river. Desna in 1978-1983 6-8 nests were recorded (Babko, 1991). In the Bryansk region on the site of the river. Nerussa at 11 km marked nesting of 9-13 pairs (Lozov, Shpilenok, 1990). In selected 40-kilometer sections of the river. Voronezh in the Lipetsk and Voronezh Regions in 1982-1986 found from 4 to 30 nests (Klimov, 1993). In Oksky app. on the site of the river. A great 54-km-long pra nests annually from 14 to 43 females (Kotyukov, 1986), in the area of ​​the river. Oka from s. Yushta to the mouth of the river. Pra (75 km) in late June - early July 1988-1989 22-26 residential holes (original) are taken into account. In the Moscow Region, a little over a hundred pairs nest (Red Book of the Moscow Region, 1998). In the Nizhny Novgorod region on the rivers Kerzhenets, Sura, Oka and Volga - usual, on the river. Vetluga is rare (Vorontsov, 1967). P. A. Serebrovsky (1918) met a couple on Kerzhenets “every mile” (1.6 km). On the river Sura in Mordovia, one pair was on 6 km of the coastline (Lugovoi, 1975). On the site of the river. The Abyss (the right tributary of the Sura River) 22.5 km long in Chuvashia found 11 residential holes (Kotyukov, Nikolaeva, 2001). On the river M. Kokshaga in the Republic of Mari-El on a densely populated area with a length of 12 km 6 pairs were found, 7 pairs were found on the entire examined 30-km section (Grigoryev, 1929).

In the Samara region pairs nest at a distance of 2-7 km from one another (Shaposhnikov, 1984). In the Asian part of Russia, it is less evenly distributed; the number and density of nesting differ even in neighboring habitats. In Kazakhstan, one pair occupies an average of 1-2 km of coastline (Korelov, 1970). In the Murgaba valley, on a route of 5 km in June, 0.2 individuals per 1 km were recorded (Tashliev et al., 1967), in the bass. Kashka-Darya nests for at least 3 pairs for 10-12 km (Meklenburtsev, 1958), in the bass. Surkhan-Daria for 2-2.5 km - 2-4 individuals (Salikhbaev, Ostapenko, 1964). In the app. “Tigrovaya Balka” has 1 pair per 1 km of the shoreline of the lakes (Potapov, 1959). On the river Ket in the upper reaches were noted by 6 individuals per 10 km, below the confluence of the B. and M. Keti rivers - 3 individuals per 50 km (Moskvitin et al., 1977). On the channels of the river. Ob within the southern taiga and subtaiga forests accounted for 0.4–0.6 individuals per 10 km (Ravkin, 1978), in the middle part of the river. Biya and on the river. Pyzha (Altai) - 0.2 individuals per 10 km, on the channels of the river. Biya - 0.1 individual per 10 km of the coastline (Ravkin, 1973), is common in the Minusinsk depression (Prokofiev, 1987). In South. Transbaikalia is usual, but in the bass. Selenga is even a species frequently encountered at the nesting grounds (Gagina, 1961). According to V.A. Andronov (personal communication), in the Khingan West, 1.7 individuals are recorded on large and medium-sized rivers Bureya, Arkhara, Urila and Mutnaya, 0.3 individuals on small rivers and 0 on lakes , 8 individuals per 1 km of coastline. In Primorye, it is common, and numerous on some rivers (Vorobyov, 1954), in the basin of the river. The darkness on Sakhalin is numerous (Gizenko, 1955). The approximate number of breeding in the East. Europe and North. Asian kingfishers are estimated at no less than 50,000 pairs.

In West Europe in the 1970s nesting: in the UK and Ireland - 5000-9000 pairs, in France - 1000-10000 pairs, Belgium - about 450, Luxembourg - about 140, the Netherlands - 275-325, Denmark - 100-200, Germany - 1000-1200, Sweden - around 180-200, Finland - 10 pairs (Cramp, 1985).

As a result of regulation of river flows, pollution of water bodies and other anthropogenic impact in some places, the number of kingfishers is reduced. A progressive decrease in numbers caused by these causes is noted in France, in the south of Belgium, in the Netherlands, in many regions of Germany, in Poland and others (Timmerman, 1970, Markiewicz, 1973, Bezzel, 1980, Hallet, Doucet, 1982). For populations wintering near nesting sites (mainly subspecies A. a. Ispida), wintering conditions are a strong regulatory factor. In especially severe winters, the number of breeding birds decreases by 83-84% and up to 95% (Kniprath, 1965, Bezzel, 1980). The number of birds living in the Baltic countries and wintering in the West. Europe, and often in the vicinity of nesting sites, is also affected by harsh winters. For example, on a well-controlled 18-kilometer stretch of river. Achya in Estonia in 1938, 15 pairs nested, in 1939 - 11, in 1940 and 1941. after the harsh winter of 1939/40 kingfisher was absent here and re-populated the river only in 1943 (Kumari, 1978).

For birds living in the center of the European part of Russia, 3-4 fold fluctuations in numbers are observed: in Oksky app. in 1976-1985 14–43 females had 20–79 nests. Severe winters do not negatively affect the number of local birds wintering mostly in the Mediterranean. In the dynamics of the number of kingfishers nesting in the Okskoye Zap., A 10–12-year periodicity is noted for some other bird species (Kartashev, 1962, Kotyukov, 1986).

Daily activity, behavior

Ways of foraging are diverse, but the most common of them is diving for fish from an attack. As an additive, it uses sticks, branches, roots, stones and other objects located above or near the water. The height of the additive is usually from 0.5 to 3 m above the surface of the water; sometimes the bird uses additives of about 11 m high (Frost, 1978). A hunting bird is looking for prey at a distance of 10 m or more, usually 1-2 m from an attack.

Figure 57. Feed behavior of an ordinary kingfisher (according to: Radetzky, 1976, Boag, 1982):
a - looking for prey from an additive; b - the location in the beak of fish before feeding the chicks.

Having noticed a fish swimming in the upper layers of the water, the kingfisher turns in its direction and dives into the water. If the distance to the hunting object exceeds 2-3 m, the kingfisher first flies parallel to the surface of the water and then rushes vertically down for the prey. In cases where the height of the additive does not allow you to dive deep, the kingfisher soars higher and only after that dives down. During a throw after prey, the bird flaps its wings a few times and before entering the water draws them back along the body. Grabbing a fish with his beak across the body, turns his head to the surface, flies out of the water and sits on the previous bait. Being in the water, the bird closes its eyes with the Middle Age, in the water during the ascent flaps its wings in the same way as in the air. The maximum immersion depth is about 1 m (Bezzel, 1980). It kills the caught fish by hitting its head with an impact. In places where there are no convenient additives, he hunts like terns, looking for prey in a fluttering flight. There have been cases when the kingfisher dived for prey, interrupting a horizontal flapping flight (Radetzky, 1976). In winter, it can dive for prey into the water through a thin crust of ice (Nicht, 1975). Depending on the location, season and method of hunting, its success is different. During the wintering season in Malaysia, it is 53%, in Kashmir (India) during the nesting period - 38% of the hunts from the perch and 54% of the air hunts of captive young kingfishers - 36%, in winter in Estonia 5 out of 10 throws are successful. breeding season in Oksky zap. more than two thirds of the throws for production (about 75%) were successful (Kniprath, 1969b, Pring-Mill, 1976, Kumari, 1978, original data).

Sometimes the kingfisher uses other methods of feeding: captive birds grabbed food from the surface of the water (Kniprath, 1969b), in Spain, flying a few inches above the ground, the kingfisher caught spiders and possibly small lizards (Shanrock, 1962). In Germany, an adult bird hovering in a fluttering flight near a cliff and pecking insects running along its slope, sometimes the same bird, like flytraps, broke off an attack, grabbed flying insects and returned to the attack (Ruthke, 1968). In the app. During the period of feeding the chicks and in August kingfishers saw kingfishers pecking ants from the floor and walls of buildings (Potapov, 1959). In Lazovsky app. at the beginning of September they saw a kingfisher pecking insects from coastal cliffs (D. Banin, personal communication).

In the breeding season, the basis of the diet of adult birds and chicks is fish; the proportion of other feed that the kingfisher usually produces in water is small. In Estonia, it feeds on minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus), char (Nemachilus barbatulus), gudgeon (Gobio gobio), bleak (Alburnus alburnus) and roach (Rutilus rutilus) (Kumari, 1939, 1978), in the Moscow Region. mainly char (Ptushenko, Inozemtsev, 1968), in Azerbaijan juvenile carp (Cyprinus carpio), roach, asp (Aspius aspius), chub (Leuciscus cephalus), rudd (Scardinus erythrophthalmus), sexually mature bastards, gambusia (Gambus) imago eats horseflies (Taban>
Most often in the kingfisher's diet, the most numerous species are found in the area, as well as fish that are kept in the upper layers of water and in shallow water. In Estonia, the basis of the diet is minnow, in Ukraine - ide (Leuciscus idus) - 15.8-47.9%, roach - 11.7-20.5%, bleak - 3.7-12.8%, asp - 6 , 4-6.7% and pike (Esox lucius) —2.6-8.0%, in Oksky app. roach - 37%, ide - 19.2%, pike - 16.3% and bream (Blicca bjoerkna) - 12.7%. Small species and fish living in the bottom layers of the water are represented by single specimens in the kingfisher's diet: in Ukraine, this is crucian carp (Carassiussp.), Ruff (Gimnocephalus segpia), goby (Neogobiussp.), In Oksky zap. - Verkhovka (Leucaspius delineatus), little rotan head (Percottus glehni), ruff (Smogorzhevsky, 1959, Kartashev et al., 1963, Kumari, 1978, original data).

During the flight and wintering, a significant portion of the diet is made up of other animal feeds: on the fishless lake M. Sorbulak (southern Kazakhstan), the remains of beetles (Cryptocephalus nPhilortthus), Hymenoptera, bugs, spiders (Aranei) were found in the stomachs of three kingfishers during the flight. and young lake frogs (Rana ridibunda) (Erokhov and Gavrilov, 1984), in Spain in the autumn and winter, fish make up 61%), frogs - 1.8%, crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes) - 4.1%, insects - 33% of the feed (Iribbaren, Nevado, 1982). At the wintering camp in Malaysia, fish account for 59%, shrimp (genus Natantia) - 26%, crabs - 2%, dragonfly larvae - 0.7% of the feed (Helbig, 1987), in Germany at the end of December there was a bird hunting for small gastropods ( Lymnaeidae) and bivalve (Anodonta sp. Or Unio sp.) Mollusks (Schroder, 1966).

Every day, the chick eats from 3 to 9 fish, the weight of which for a 4-5-day-old chick is 25% of its weight (about 2.5 g), for a 19-23-day-old chick - 13-25 g (Heyn, 1963, Zverev, 1970). Every day during the nesting period, the chick eats an average of 20.9 g, an adult bird 16-30 g, an average of 24 g fish, wintering kingfishers wintering in the middle latitudes eat up to 45.6 g a day (Boag, 1982, Hallet-Libois, 1985 ) On the river Forest in Belgium, one pair of kingfishers and its offspring (2-4 broods) eat 9.4-14.4 kg of fish during the breeding season (March 1 - August 15) (Hallet-Libois, 1985). At 53 km section of the river. Pra in May-August 195831-35 pairs of kingfisher were kept, of which 25-28 pairs were breeding and had 1-2 clutches; during the breeding season they produced about 130 thousand fish (Kartashov et al., 1963).

Enemies, adverse factors

The greatest damage to kingfisher's nests is caused by terrestrial predators. In Oksky app. dig up nests, eat eggs and chicks, a fox and a raccoon dog, an ermine, penetrating burrows, eats not only clutch or brood, but also a hatching bird. Some nests with clutches are ruined by snakes. In one of these nests of the kingfisher, a clutch of snake was subsequently found, consisting of more than 50 eggs (Kotyukov, Numerov, 1983, original data). In Kazakhstan, nests are destroyed by otters, ermines, foxes and snakes (Korelov, 1970). The enemies of the kingfisher can also be attributed to the American mink, weasel, water rat, which, along with the animals mentioned above, destroy the nests in Zap. Europe (Courr. Nature, 1972, Svensson, 1978). From the feathered predators of the kingfisher, a sparrowhawk, a common carp, a gray owl and a bluefin are obtained (Gentz, 1962, Kumari, 1978, Boag, 1982).

A serious danger to nests is summer floods, a sudden increase in water levels and heavy rains, causing flooding and destruction of the coast. Many kingfishers wintering in the middle latitudes die during sudden cold snap.

Economic value, protection

On the greater territory of the range within Vost. Europe and North. Asia has no economic value. May cause minor damage by eating juvenile commercial fish in fisheries.

It is listed in the Red Books of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Republic of Belarus, and in the Russian Federation - in the Red Books of the Lipetsk, Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod, Ryazan, Tver, Leningrad, Kirov and Tomsk Regions, Karachay-Cherkessia, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, Mari El, Yakutia and the Stavropol Territory.

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