Ivan Nikitin wrote: - "It’s white as a moon, on the forehead of wrinkles, with a drunken face, he saw a lot of twigs in his lifetime." Comparing the hero with the steppe bird, the Russian poet of the 19th century meant that the man was gray-haired.
You cannot call the white moon. The back of the feathered and the top of the wings are gray. However, there is a "sagging", and the overall tone is not dark. The abdomen and neck of the animal are completely white. In a close relative of the field moon, the color is several tones darker. There are also meadow individuals. Those have red feathers.
Description and features of the steppe moon
In the 19th century steppe harrier was distributed. Therefore, the mind of Ivan Nikitin came to the association with the bird. In the 21st century, such a comparison would probably be written only by the ornithologist poet, who has at hand Red Book. Steppe harrier it is listed as disappearing.
Yastrebiniy is included both in the All-Russian publication and in a number of regional ones. In particular, the hero of the article is included in the list of rare animals of the Krasnodar Territory.
In the 1930s, the steppe species was noted as typical throughout the western Caucasus. By the 1990s, cases of encounter of the moon were already isolated. The animal leads a secretive lifestyle. In all of Russia there are a maximum of 5,000 pairs. The entire southern region accounts for no more than 100. Globally, the moons have approximately 20,000 pairs.
Relating to hawks, the lun is a middling in size. The body length of the male is 435-480 centimeters, and the female is 480-525. As can be seen, species birds have developed sexual dimorphism. Females are larger than males. The wingspan of the latter does not exceed 110 centimeters. In females, the indicator often approaches 120.
Like other hawks, the moon has a hooked beak, strong legs with feather pants to the knee bends. The body of the bird is slim. Other hawks are denser. Even the moon is distinguished from them by narrow wings. In flight, the hero of the article can be confused with a seagull.
Lifestyle & Habitat
The extent of distribution in Russia extends from the western borders to Mongolia. It adjoins the south-west of Transbaikalia. Birds fly to the East to the Yenisei. They are also found west of the Ural ridge. Description of the steppe moon give residents of the Minusinsk depression at the junction of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and Khakassia.
On the southwestern borders of the country, the moons chose Crimea, the northern coast of the Black Sea, and Transcaucasia. Here, as in other habitats, hawks choose arid steppes for living.
Love for them is reflected in the name of the species. However, there are exceptions. In the Stavropol Territory, for example, a bird is found in the Podgorny and Andropovsky districts. They are swampy.
There are exceptions in terms of the behavior of the feathered. Being secretive steppe harrier bird sometimes it attacks kittens, domestic pigeons and taken out by the owners into the yards of birds in cages. However, a sort of hooliganism can be explained by the lack of food supply of the moon.
Due to human activities, habitation habitats are becoming less and less. The feed base is also decreasing.
Steppe harrier on a photo always in heaven, or on earth. The hero of the article does not have the habit of planting trees, even when he, as an exception, settles in the forest-steppe zone.
In the sky, the moon, like all hawks, is graceful, unhurried. Flying bird slightly swaying. An exception is the spring period. This is breeding time. Mating dance is a series of sharp climbs to the height and rapid peak. Females also make "jumps", but less pronounced.
Having grown offspring, steppe birds fly south. Most migrate to Africa. They return to Russia in early spring, as soon as glades appear. This is where marriage games begin.
Steppe Moon Feeding
Steppe harrier - predator. With addiction to meat, deviations of the bird from the habitual environment are associated. A feathered bird can climb into the forest or swamps if there are more rodents. They are the basis of the lunar forage base.
If you understand than in particular eats steppe harrier, remember voles, gerbils, jerboas. All of them are pests of agricultural land. It turns out that Lun is an assistant to farmers.
The hero of the article hunts in the afternoon. Small prey is easier to spot in the fields in the light of the sun. Sometimes, instead of rodents, a predator catches lizards. On the fly, the harrier is able to grab small birds. So saturated.
Seeing the prey, the steppe harrier swiftly dive, stretching its paws forward. The bird grabs a victim in the grass. The paws of the hero of the article are long. This helps to get food, even in high vegetation. Before the earth, the moon opens its tail. The predator slows them down after a speedy peak.
Hunting areas are distributed between the birds. Each moon has its own patrimony. It is small in area. A specific route has been laid. Flying around the land, the predator follows him. Therefore, you can see the moon, as a rule, in the same places.
Reproduction and longevity
Not loving to sit on trees, the steppe harrier does not build nests on them. Eggs hatch on the ground, in its recesses, between stones, sometimes in the reed. There are no sockets in the usual sense. Eggs are laid in a pit lined around the perimeter with grass.
The eggs of the female moons lay from 3 to 7. Standard - 5 pieces. They hatch for 30-35 days. It takes the same amount to raise the chicks to the wing. A month and a half after birth, they are ready to fly for the winter to warmer climes.
Hatching and raising chicks, steppe loons are aggressive. Hawks attack any enemies, regardless of their mood, size. Representatives of the steppe species are not inclined to abandon their masonry, saving their own "skins".
By the age of 3, a bird of prey is ready to breed. The reproductive age of 17-18 years is ending. The steppe loons of 20-22 live. In captivity, hawks can extend their age to 25 years.