Birds of Central Russia


The list of birds of Russia is quite extensive. Swifts, ducks, pigeons and tits, sparrows and crows live here, which can be seen on every street, in every park and public garden. There are also more rare representatives of the world of birds. These are storks, cranes, eagle-owls, red fowls, partridges and many others. Each of them is interesting in its own way and is an excellent object for study.

Birds of Central Russia

In this part of the country lives just a huge number of birds. And every year an increasing number of birds remains here for the winter. They settle in parks and squares, under the roofs of houses. Often, residents feed their feathered neighbors, and this allows them to spend a good winter. Often you can find here a cuckoo, kestrel, oriole, and nuthatch. These birds are increasingly settling closer to people. In city parks, on ponds and lakes you can see a lot of ducks and even swans. And at night you can hear the hooting of an owl and the piercing cry of a falcon.

The birds of the middle zone are more than 70 migratory and sedentary species, as well as more than 60 species of migratory birds. In the warm season they live here, and with the arrival of cold weather they go to Asia and Africa.

City birds

Many birds of central Russia prefer to settle near human habitation. In this region, there are at least 36 species of urban birds. Some of them settle directly in urban buildings. Others prefer parks and squares, build their nests in trees and shrubs. Watching the city birds, you can learn interesting facts and features of their life. For example, you can detect such intellectual abilities of birds, which we did not even suspect earlier. You just need to raise your eyes to the sky more often and listen carefully to the world around you.

The benefits and harm brought to man

Of course, the benefits of urban birds are so obvious that they should not even talk about it. For example, sparrows, whose livestock is simply impossible to count, are constantly searching for food. With their little beaks, they destroy millions of small insects in a day, and also peck up hundreds of thousands of weed seeds. No wonder they are called the orderlies of city garbage dumps and landfills.

Interestingly, the starling can devour as many bugs, spiders and caterpillars as it weighs in one day. And from this, he does not get fat, because he will spend all his energy in search of new food.

But birds can be harmful.

"Bird" trouble

Fleas, flies, ticks and louseflies begin to multiply in the places of the mass aggregation of birds. In addition, some birds are the source and carrier of a very dangerous disease - ornithosis. This disease can be transmitted to humans and in some cases is fatal. Also, birds can carry diseases such as encephalitis, pasteurellosis, brucellosis and others.

Quite often, in search of food, small birds, such as sparrows, fly into shops, warehouses and shopping centers. There they spoil the food, peck the packaging and make the product unusable. Bird droppings not only spoil the appearance of buildings and streets, but also cause rust on the metal parts of buildings and structures. Flocks of birds disrupt the operation of power lines, interfere with the normal operation of airports. Destroy crops in gardens, kitchen gardens and fields.

Forest birds

Many birds of the central belt still prefer to settle in the forests. Deciduous massifs prefer black grouse, swift, kedrovik, nightingale and others. Flooded forests were chosen by other birds: azure tit, quark and blue magpie. There are also many insect-eating birds in the forests: woodpeckers, flycatchers, pigeons, and so on. Here they build their nests and breed.

Coniferous arrays are rich in golden eagles, cuckoos, owl. You can also meet here lentils and familiar titmouse. Sometimes it may seem that the coniferous forest is rather lifeless, and there is a deathly silence in it. Far from it. In fact, it is full of inhabitants, especially birds, you only need to learn how to listen and hear them.

One of the most famous migratory birds is the field lark. This little bird weighs only 40 grams, and in length reaches no more than 19 cm. They arrive very early, as soon as the snow melts and the first thaws appear. It nests a little later when a lot of green vegetation appears. At first, the bird feeds on last year’s plant seeds and extracts sleeping insects from under the frozen ground.

The lark lives on the ground and feeds there too. But he sings exclusively in the air. Taking off to a height of 150 meters, it fills up the louder the higher it rises. Sometimes it seems that the ringing song comes right out of the blue sky. Decreasing, the birdie sings quieter and jerky, and at a height of 15-20 meters and completely silent.

Heron and cranes

The well-known crane and heron prefer the near-water way of life. In total, there are just over 60 species of herons of different sizes in nature. The most famous among them are:

  • big white
  • black
  • small blue
  • gray heron.

This is a very recognizable creature, it is impossible to confuse it with another bird. Among the distinctive features are long, graceful legs and a beak, famous for its long and straightforwardness, a small short tail and a long neck.

They usually live near water. They can be found on the marshes, small rivers, in the lake meadows. Large water herons are trying to avoid. They feed on these birds in a very peculiar way. In their diet, there are snakes, frogs, tadpoles, snakes, newts, large insects, fry and fish. Some species of herons prefer to diversify their table with mice and small moles.

Both the crane and heron are monogamous birds, that is, they form only one pair. But if the cranes "marry" for life, the heron creates a pair for the season. The male is very nice caring for his partner - gracefully crouches and snaps his beak. The male also takes over most of the work on arranging the nest. From the female is required only to lay the material brought. Heron hatchlings hatch in turns, and in one nest it can be up to 7 eggs.

Depending on the type, the heron's weight can reach 2 kg, and the wingspan is 175 cm.

Cranes are also quite large birds. The weight of this feathered can reach 6 kg, and the wingspan is 2.5 meters. The color of the bird (gray crane) is blue-gray, and the back is darker than the belly. White feathers on the sides and back of the neck. The upper part of the head is devoid of feathering, there is only red skin. The paws are dark, and the beak has a light gray color.

Gray cranes migrate in flocks, about 400 individuals each. Feeding birds very diverse. They are happy to eat the stems and seeds, potatoes, berries and fruits of trees, leaves, roots and tubers of many plants. In the summer, the gray crane diversifies its diet with mice, crayfish, worms and small birds. They also do not disdain dragonflies, snails, spiders and beetles and other living creatures.

Gray Crane - long-lived bird. In the wild, their lifespan can be 40 years.

The swallow spends its entire life in flight, only occasionally sitting down somewhere to rest. There are several types of these fast-winged birds:

  • city ​​swallow
  • country,
  • shore swallow.

These are only the most famous and familiar to us species. In general, the family of swallows has about 80 species. Despite this diversity, they are all very similar and lead almost the same way of life. All swallows are insectivorous. They eat midges in huge quantities, which greatly help a person.

In the air, these birds are real aces. They are able to do many aerobatics, for example, a dead loop. In the air, swallows do everything: they dive, tumble, plan, even drink and bathe, flying over water.

The most interesting coastal swallow, or the so-called coastline. Unlike her other brethren, she does not build a nest, but lives in a burrow. On a steep precipice near the reservoir such birds dig a deep, sometimes up to one and a half meters, hole. At the end of it is a small expansion - nesting chamber. It was there that the beregovushka folds its nest of sticks, twigs and dry blades of grass.

Who does not know these birds, the most common in the middle lane? In the pigeon family, there are more than 300 species. All of them are very similar to each other, of course, if we exclude decorative breeds from the comparative list. For a sample here the well-known pigeon gray is accepted. It was his domesticated descendants who served the people as postmen. The pigeon is one of the few birds that walk as well as fly. And many urban individuals are so lazy that they take to the air only when absolutely necessary.

Surprisingly, the gray-colored dove feeds its chicks. Have you ever heard of bird milk? This is about pigeons. At the time of the emergence of chicks in the light in the brain of a pigeon, a special hormone, prolactin, begins to be produced. As a result of the action of this substance, the internal surface of the bird's goiter, or rather its mucous membranes, begin to produce a special substance, similar to the milk-curd mass. It is joined by softened seeds eaten by a bird. The result is a special nutritional mixture, which is the feed for the chicks.

Turtle dove is one of the smallest species of pigeons. Some believe that the so-called pigeon female. However, it is not. In contrast to the sizar pigeon, the bird dove is not a real urbanist. They appear in our lands in the first days of May, and fly away in August. They live most often in parks, woods, on fields and in pine forests. The nests of these birds are located on the trees. Although all pigeons build their houses rather casually, the turtle dove's nest, even if it looks too delicate, is actually quite strong. Sometimes the gorlitsin house is so luminous that you can see the eggs lying in it directly from the ground or you can examine the chicks.

Another well-known inhabitant of Russian forests is the common oriole. Her bright yellow plumage involuntarily makes you smile and feel the warmth of a summer day. The oriole arrives at the end of May, when everything starts to turn green. These are rather large birds, about 25 cm long and weighing 70–75 grams. But even such a seemingly rather big bird is rather difficult to see in the green foliage.

The Oriole nest is also very special. This is a kind of deep hammock, suspended in the crown of a tree. No matter how the wind rages, the chicks will never fall out of the nest, as it is very durable, although quite elegant.

The oriole feeds mainly on bugs, butterflies and spiders. At the end of the summer, their ration is diversified by raspberry, bird cherry, and irga berries. Already at the beginning of September, these “sunbeams” fly alone for wintering to Africa.

The owl is a rather large bird. Its wingspan can reach one and a half meters. Most often, these representatives of owls have ocher-red color. The eagle owl's feathering has a special structure that allows it to fly absolutely silently. On the territory of Russia there are 5 species of these birds. All of them are listed in the Red Book.

Lives owl near ravines, marshes and in old forests. You can learn it by a kind of wild laughter. The big head of the bird has special feather "ears", and round eyes can see perfectly in the dark. Do the owls have one feature, known, perhaps, even to children. They are able to turn their heads by as much as 270 degrees.

The owl is a bird of prey. The usual food for him are gophers, woodchucks, mice, chipmunks and other small animals. Even in the diet they may contain various insects and, oddly enough, hedgehogs. If the owl flies over the pond, he gladly feasts on a frog or fish.

Although an adult owl has no natural enemies, babies can be easy prey for a wolf or fox. But much more these birds suffer at the hands of man. The fact is that birds often eat rodents living in the fields treated with "anti-mouse" poisons. Having eaten a sick, poisoned mouse, the bird has almost no chance of survival.

In central Russia there are also quite large birds. On migrations, for example, the whooper swan is quite common. It winters on the coasts of the Azov and Black Seas.

The whooper swan is a rather heavy bird, so it spends most of its life in the water. They are quite similar to their fellow small swans. Although the difference is still there. In the Whoopers, the colors of the beak are dominated by yellow shades, and by the small swans - black. Otherwise, they are very similar. The length of the body of a whooper is 1.3–1.7 meters, and the weight can reach 15 kg. They have short legs and a beautiful long neck. Vultures have white plumage, very soft and warm, it has a lot of fluff.

Like cranes, swans are monogamous, they create a pair for life. Vultures nest near ponds and anxiously protect their territory from the encroachment of strangers.


These small birds appear in our area in early spring. Even the ice has not come down, and at the reservoirs it is already possible to meet slender creatures, constantly shaking their tails. In nature, there are these types of wagtails:

  • white
  • yellow or pliska
  • forest horse,
  • field horse,
  • meadow horse.

Several other types of skates also live in our country: steppe, mountain, Siberian and red-breasted.

Wagtails spend almost all their time on the ground. They even build nests under the roots of a tree, in a pile of brushwood and grass, and near human habitation they can settle in a shed or woodpile. They are almost not afraid of people, even when a person appears near the nest, the wagtail does not take off, but continues to run along the path, leading the danger away from their home.

As you can see, the birds of central Russia are quite numerous and diverse. The listed here are only a fraction of the representatives of the local fauna.

Nightingale ordinary

In central Russia a bird appears in the 10th of May. If you are guided by the signs of nature, the nightingales wait until the birch trees cover with foliage. This means that the cold will not return until the autumn and the water will not be covered with ice.

The proximity of water - the main condition for nightingale nesting. These songbirds of central Russialove moisture. Therefore, looking for vociferous in floodplain and lowland forests.

Externally, by the way, nightingales are inconspicuous, the size of a few surpassed the sparrows. The color of the birds is brown-olive. The throat and abdomen is lighter than the main plumage. Upper tail feathers slightly reddish. "Clothing" of females and males coincides. The mass coincides. In adults, it is 25-30 grams.

Nightingales are attributed to the family of blackbirds. The common species is a relative of the west. The latter is the most singing among the nightingales. Kinship affected Russian birds. Their arias are almost as good as the songs of western birds. Concerts give nightingales at night, subsiding at dawn.

Dirty-gray, on a thin and long leg. So describe the toadstool - mushroom, known for its poisonousness. And here are the birds? Among them, too, there are toadstools. Named by analogy with mushrooms, due to external similarities.

Feathered sulfur. Instead of a long leg there is an elongated neck, which is crowned with a head with a red-black collar. Its dark feathers are divided into 2 bunches, which adds similarities with a hat of a poisonous mushroom. This is a general description.

Toadstool has subspecies. Most are inhabitants middle band. BirdsRed-necked subspecies are distinguished by golden stripes on the cheeks, turning into equally bright tufts of feathers near the ears. The great toadstool has a white eyebrow, and the gray-haired one has none.

Toadstools differ in size. Representatives of a large subspecies weigh more than a kilogram, in length reach 57 centimeters. A lot of gray-necked grebes is about 700 grams. The length of the body, however, is about 43 centimeters. Red-cheeked birds weigh only 400 grams, reaching 34 centimeters.

In warm areas the toadstools are settled, but in Russia they arrive only for the summer. Birds appear in mid-April, settling on reservoirs. Here, toadstools find a pair and proceed to the marriage dances.

The task - to synchronously repeat the movement of the partner. This is done by birds with a blade of grass in their beak. Graces of birds, at the same time, you can envy.

These birds of central Russiadistributed only at its southern border. View listed in the Red Book. Population crippled hunting. Of the European flying birds, the bustard is the largest. Meat is not just a lot, it is also tasty. Not surprisingly, the only way to stop the hunt was by bans.

In case of danger, bustards do not even scream. Representatives of the species are mute. On the other hand, the bustard has sharp eyes and a bright appearance, resembling turkey. On photo of a bird of the middle bandappear massive.

Males are larger, weighing 15-20 kilograms. The mass of females does not exceed 8 kilos. Female sex walks without a mustache. The males have them, they consist, of course, of feathers. The heads of birds are medium-sized, gray with a short beak. Powerful neck and body painted motley. Interspersed with black, white, red feathers. It turns out a ribbed pattern.

Bustard - birds of central Russiataking off only with a run. Starting from a place is hampered by dimensions. To hunters, such slowness was at hand, contributing to the rapid decline in the bustard numbers.

Migratory. В России уже в начале марта. Если зима была теплой, прилетает в феврале. Селится у водоемов. Питается насекомыми. Внешне чибисы отличаются хохолком на голове. Он игриво загнут, наподобие завитка.

Окрас представителей вида черно-белый, но в брачный период «подергивается» цветными переливами. Their gamma is reminiscent of gasoline stains on water, or oxides on metals.

The trousers of the lapwings are white and the paws are crimson. Beauty is miniature. The weight of the birds does not exceed 350 grams. In length plies are equal to 28-30 centimeters. The sizes of females and males coincide.

Chibisov voices are not as pleasant as looks. Feathered noisy, shrill. In Russia, from mouth to mouth, the legend of a woman turned into a bird and wailing for the loss of her husband. The story is worthy of compassion. Perhaps that is why the Slavs considered the lapwings sacred, and the destruction of their nests was sinful.

Crake's voice is also devoid of melody. Forest Birdsbored and often mistaken for frogs. When you find a sound source, you see a bird weighing about 150 grams.

The body of the feathery is slightly flattened, painted in gray, brown and black tones. On an inconspicuous background 2 short wings. They are able to lift the bird into the air. This happens rarely. Crake does not like to fly.

See the crake difficult. Representatives of the species are extremely shy, they clearly see, hear, and, apparently, feel the situation. Her corncrakes probe on wet grasslands with tall grass, where they settle.

Complicates the search for birds, as well, nocturnal. Even under the cover of darkness, corncrakes move, clinging to the ground. To her feathered down neck and chest.

In the end, we will open the secret of the flattened body of corncrakes. Compressed from the sides reduces air resistance when running. Not accustomed to fly away from danger, birds rely on leg strength and the laws of physics.

Predator birds

Order Falcons. In Russia, it includes two families - the Falcons and Hawks. These are birds of prey, characterized by a sharp beak and not less sharp claws. The size of the feathery representatives from medium to fairly large.

Another distinctive feature of this order can be considered the fact that large birds can save their energy due to soaring, as well as changing feathers several times during their lives. Nests can build both themselves and occupy empty nests of other species.

Unfortunately, the population of these beautiful birds has very much decreased recently. Therefore, attempts are being made to artificially breed rare species of this order.

Detachment Owls includes two families. Representatives of this order are predatory representatives of the world of birds, which hunt at night or at dusk. Distinctive features: unique hearing and vision, as well as the possibility of turning the head more than 360 degrees. Birds feed mainly on rodents, some species eat insects. Owls are forest birds that need protection (especially for large species).

Water birds

In the squad Charadriiformes Includes 11 bird families. These are mostly waterfowl species of birds, but there are representatives who live in the fields, in the forests, and in the steppes.

Most often, birds of the rye-type detachment lodge in flocks, build nests on rocks or on the ground, rarely on trees.

Gulls and their relatives can make quite distant flights, but mostly their path is clearly routed.

Squad Anseriformes - The most extensive group of waterfowl. It includes 15 genera. This is all the usual ducks, geese, geese, etc.

Representatives of this order are quite different in biological structure. Nests are built most often on land close to water. But some species prefer to nest on rocks or in hollows of trees. And there are species that build nests in burrows, lining them with fluff, and, flying away from the nest, mask.

Mostly, the representatives of this order are migratory birds. But there are species that remain to winter, provided that the reservoir does not freeze.

Because of the merciless hunt for representatives of the avifauna of this detachment, many of them were on the verge of extinction and are listed in the Red Book.

In the Central Russian region there are four families of the detachment. Crane. These are migratory birds that most often inhabit swamps, bodies of water and open landscapes.

The birds of this order are omnivores and can eat both plant food and insects, clams, small fish, and even frogs.

The birds of this order nest in the ground, creating strong married couples.

Unfortunately, the crane population has decreased in recent years, and most species are considered rare.

There are four squad families in total in Russia Ciconiiformes.

Birds have great patience, as they can stand for hours in very cold water and do not move.

Ciconiiformes - migratory birds, ranging in size from medium to very large, which feed on animal food, but sometimes can eat plankton.

They can nest with representatives of other species (cormorants, herons, ibis) and thus constitute fairly large colonies.

In central Russia, there are four families of the detachment Pelicans. These are birds that prefer the aquatic environment, so they build nests near the water and live in large colonies.

The material for the construction of nests are branches and stems.

A distinctive feature can be called the fact that their feathers get wet in the water and they have to dry them for a long time, while spreading their wings.


With all the variety of birds that live in central Russia, you need to remember that this may change. Many once extensive species of birds have become rare, and even generally considered extinct. The protection of rare species and a sensible hunt for numerous birds will help preserve what nature has created.

Spring excursions in northern and central Russia

Birds of northern and central Russia

Elucidation of the patterns of distribution of birds in the territory is one of the tasks of any ornithological excursion. Therefore, in the process of acquaintance with the spring behavior of birds, it is necessary to pay attention not only to how the bird sings, but also where it keeps at this time. Regular singing of a bird in a certain place serves as an indicator of its breeding station - an important biological characteristic of the species, which is used to judge possible ways of its settlement and patterns of distribution. It is also necessary to pay attention to the degree of ecological plasticity of different types. She is not well understood. Some birds, such as the song thrush or chargie, can nest in both coniferous and deciduous forests. Others live only in spruce forests or only in oak forests, etc. There are, however, few such birds. Most are widely distributed and can be found in different biotopes.

Acquaintance with the voices of forest birds is better to start with a visit to the coniferous forests, not so rich in birds as deciduous. Since there are fewer birds, it is easier to remember their voices.

In the spruce forest

In spruce forests, birds usually sing longer than in pine forests or even in oak forests. Their songs can be heard here from early April to mid-August. This is explained by the fact that among the birds living in spruce forests there are many species that have a double breeding cycle. As a result, the nesting period they have been stretched for almost three months. This is characteristic, in particular, for the chariot, the wren and the wood beetle, the pika, the yellow-headed bead, the chiffchaff, chyzh, wood pigeon and some others. Thus, the ornithological excursion to the fir forest can be successfully carried out both in early spring and in the middle of summer.

"Vepsian Forest". Pure spruce forests are poor in birds. Here they sing at a great distance from one another, and their voices rarely merge into a common chorus. Particularly low density of birds in the lowland, marshy spruce forests, called warm. This type of forest is typical, for example, of the Vepsky Forest reserve, located on the border of the Leningrad and Vologda regions. About 25 species of birds are associated with the spruce forest here. Of these, the three-toed woodpecker, the yurok and the kuksh are the most typical. In the southern subzone of the taiga, they are found much less frequently.

Kukshi make themselves known even from afar, when, chasing each other, they emit a very loud barking cry "Key-Key". Being gullible, the kukš sometimes lets a person very close. It is a rather large bird, larger than a thrush. In coloring of plumage the bright-red tail and the blackish-brown cap are striking.

Fig. 15. Kuksha (fig. A. Komarova)

The kuksha is very mobile and in a manner of keeping something like tits: constantly jumping from branch to branch, hammering the prey with its beak, squeezing it with its toes, accompanying its actions with various chirping. She silently flies from tree to tree, fanning her red tail. The song is quiet, consists of intricate sounds, partially borrowed from other birds.

Yurok is a species close to a finch and replaces it in the northern part of the forest zone. In many ways, both species are similar. However, the spring demonstrative song of them is completely different. Yurok monosyllabically buzzing, finch chirps loudly. According to the song, the yurok is more likely similar to a greenfinch, one of whose knees of the song also has a buzzing hue. Sitting in a prominent place, the male Yuri from time to time, slowly raises his head up and publishes his "zhzhzhzh." It is painted quite brightly: black head and back, reddish throat and chest, white belly, with bright stripes visible on the wings.

Fig. 16. Male Yurka (fig. A. Komarova)

The three-toed woodpecker is relatively silent and is not as striking as the big motley one. However, in the spring, he, too, is enlivened: publishes a relatively quiet and short drumming and reproduces the long high whistles. This is a small woodpecker, the size of a starling. It is easy to recognize him by the color of the cap: in males it is golden yellow, in females it is silvery gray. When viewed from the back, white color is noticeable behind the neck and on the back. The general coloring is motley.

Fig. 18. Three-toed Woodpecker (Fig. A. Formozova)

Wood grouse, hazel grouse and ptarmigan are also characteristic of the "Vepsian Forest". A gray crane nests in the moss bogs, on the Lagozero breeds the Black-throated Diver Chicks. The buzzard, goshawk and sparrowhouse live here. In the evenings, woodcock pulls on the shores of lakes to snipe. There is a black woodpecker, there is also a big motley. Pigeons are marked with common wood pigeon and even clintuch, which nests in hollows of huge overmature aspens. They also settled and black swifts. In addition to the jyrka and the kuksh, the fauna of songbirds is represented by the finch (finch, siskin, and bullfinch), blackbirds (song thrush, maelstalk, redstart), flycatchers (small and gray), warblers (tenki and rattle), as well as forestry, yellow-headed king. curl, wren and raven. We will meet with all these birds on other excursions.

Fig. 17. Chaffinch (fig. A. Komarova)

Ramen Excursion to the fir-trees growing on dry elevated places, which are called ramen, is more interesting. This type of forest is characteristic of the southern taiga subzone. Here on the edges and clearings there is a lot of alder, birch and osich are present in the stand, some ferns are caught.

If you go on an excursion to the fir forest in the evening, then, first of all, the voices of song thrushes will attract the attention of themselves. They clearly play the role of the first violins in the general choir of birds. Blackbirds sing, always sitting on top of large fir trees. Their song consists of constantly changing stanzas, usually repeated twice or more. A. N. Promptov very well depicts the song of this thrush with the phrase: "Filip-filip-prridi-prridi-chaypit-chaypit. With sugar, with sugar,". Song thrush is rightly considered the best singer of our northern forests. Charging is competing with him. This small bird usually keeps low - in the bushes or on the ground, but in the evening, during singing, it tries to take a place higher and also sits on the top of the tree. The song is very vague and hard to remember. It begins with a long fine whistle, followed by a lower, interrupted, gentle, gradually lowering trill.

Fig. 19. Yellow-headed bead (Fig. A. Komarova)

In the spruce forests you can almost certainly hear the singing of a siskin, a yellow-headed bead, a wren, and a chiffchaff. About chizhe was already talking. The song of the yellow-headed bead should be listened to in absolute silence, since his voice is quiet and very thin, and he usually sings in the crown of a large spruce, constantly moving from place to place. In a thinnest voice, the bird deduces "suite-suite-suite-syi-titi-sigr.", As if stammering on the last syllable. The Kinglet is the smallest bird of our fauna. Its mass is 5-6 grams, almost like a hummingbird.

Fig. 20. Wren (fig. A. Komarova)

The song of the wren, on the contrary, always amazes with its relative strength. A small bird, a little larger than the king, and her voice resounds throughout the forest. The song consists of very sonorous, varying in pattern and passing trills from one to another. It lasts about 5 seconds. After a short break, the wren sings again. While singing, he sometimes climbs quite high on a tree, often sits on top of a large pile of brushwood. Usually, he clings to the earth itself, which is why it is called the sub-root among the people. A particularly remarkable feature of his appearance is a short, upright tail, which seems to be attached to a spherical brown calf.

M. Menzbir successfully compares the song of the Tenkovka chiffon with the sound of water droplets falling from a great height. The beginning of the song - the dry crackling of "tr-tr-tr" - is heard only close up. Then, in the same rhythm, the bird performs its “shadow-ting-shadow-tyun-shadow-ting-shadow-tyun.” (About 15 times), changing the tonality on almost every syllable. Tenkovka is one of the most tireless singers. She sings early in the morning, afternoon and evening. Her song is distributed from late April to late July. The increased activity of the tenkovka is due to the double breeding cycle and the fact that the males of this species rarely take part in the care of the offspring.

In the mornings and evenings in the fir-grove, sometimes a very rough voice of a forest pigeon, a wood pigeon, sounds like a grumbling beast. He "utters" a very definite phrase, "Ruhr-ru-rururu-Ruru-Ruru Rururu-Ruru-Rururu-Ru". Grumbling in front of the female, the pigeon changes the character of the song and reproduces it more quietly and in a different rhythm.

Fig. 21. Hazel grouse - male and female (fig. A. Komarova)

Of greatest interest is the meeting with grouse. He often hear, not see. At the end of April - beginning of May, the males give their voices quite regularly, especially in the mornings. Massa grouse about 400 grams, and whistles almost as thin as a tit. The male's song is simple: two long whistles followed by a short, playful thriller. The whistle of the female is lower in tone, rougher and without a trill on the end. With a decoy, it’s easy to see a hazel grouse. Having heard the song of a male, one must lay low and, having waited a bit, whistle several times with a male or female. In some cases, the hazel grouse begins to fly up almost immediately. Each flight is accompanied by a characteristic "snort" of the wings. Having made 2-3 approaches, a grouse suddenly, unexpectedly appears on one of the neighboring trees. Without making any sudden movements, you should rather consider it through binoculars! He is charming, despite the, in general, modest outfit - all in dark and white mottled, with a black throat and a small tuft on his head. It is hard to imagine that such a timid and beautiful bird is still shooting, luring spring in the decoy, although the rules of hunting is prohibited.

In places frequented by humans, the hazel-hens are cautious, fly reluctantly to the decoy and more often quietly whistling on the ground. Noticing a person, they begin to issue a signal of concern. This is the sound of "tiktik-tiktikik.", Reproduced very quickly and in a whisper. Then the hazel grouse silently runs off to the side and flies away.

If there are large aspens in the spruce forest, then large motley woodpeckers, black swifts, sometimes clintuha, redstarts often settle in their hollows. Very rarely, you can find our smallest owl - the little owl. His voice - evenly repeating thin whistle - is heard in the evenings in April - early May. Sometimes there is also a buzzard in spruce forests on the edge of trees. We notice him soaring soaring high in the sky, where from time to time comes the characteristic cry "Key". Osoed is common in clearings. His invocation cry is a very thin, melodic, pitch-modulating whistle. Of all the daytime predators, the catfish has the highest voice. Sometimes the carnivore soars in the sky, and then it can be recognized by the light coloring of the plumage. The transverse black stripes on the tail and wings are also striking. More often, however, he is met on the edge of the forest motionlessly seated low above the ground. The bird watches the movements of the ground wasps in order to detect the nest of these insects in the direction of their flight, dig it out and pull out the honeycombs with larvae - the main food of the black beetle and its young.

For middle-aged spruce forests there is also a pika, a bullfinch, a small flycatcher, and, of course, an omnipresent finch. Small flycatcher chooses dark areas of the forest. Her song is hard to catch. You can recognize it by a downward gamut of short but clear sounds heard at the end of the song. There is also a wood beetle here. She sticks to areas where there are dense thickets of young fir-trees in which she nests. To see the bird is not easy. It is silent and secretive, and only during singing do males climb to the tops of large spruces and become noticeable. Their song is somewhat reminiscent of the wren's trill, only it is much quieter and shorter. It is difficult to portray it. It is necessary to identify the bird by its appearance through binoculars: a slat-gray front part of the body, a light belly, a rusty brown back with mottled lines. Slightly smaller than a sparrow.

Birds of pine forests

Fig. 22. Горлица на гнезде (фото Ю. Пукинского)

Чистые молодые сосняки тоже не богаты птицами. Это объясняется однородностью экологических условий таких лесов, представленных, как правило, одновозрастными насаждениями и не имеющих подроста и подлеска. Здесь можно встретить гнездящимися сороку, перепелятника, горлицу, ушастую сову и сойку. With the exception of turtle-dove, the characteristic cooing of which "turr-turrr-turrrr, turr-turrr" is heard constantly, the listed bird species are kept silently and covertly, so it is difficult to watch them in spring. The jay catches the eye most often. Sometimes it silently, almost without flapping its wings, plans from tree to tree. In this case, it is easy to notice the field signs of the species: white overhang and blue spots on the wings. Singing of songbirds can be heard mainly in rarefied youngsters. Here they sing warblers, forest larks and garden buntings. The latter species is widely distributed and is found everywhere on forest edges and even in forests of more mature age. The singing male sits motionless on a branch of a bush or a young tree and melancholically repeats the short song "tutyutyu-ryu", lowering the sound on the last syllable.

Fig. 23. Jay on the nest (photo by A. Malchevsky)

Ripe, over-burr. In pine forests, where the age of trees reaches 100-300 years and where there may already be hollows, birds are much more. The species composition of the avifauna becomes even richer if at least some deciduous trees and shrubs are added to the main forest-forming species. When an over-burr bordered by a lake, Gogol can nest in the hollows of old pines. Of the double nesters living in the pine forests, let us point out the great motley and black woodpeckers, the blue-nosed owl and the kestrel, which sometimes even settle in plank nesting sites, but only if there are vast fields and floodplains of rivers where this falcon hunts nearby. Much more often, however, the kestrel nests openly, occupying the old nests of the crows. Near the nest, it holds very noticeably. The male and female fly around rapidly, accompanying their flight with a sharp, frequent cry-cli-cli-cli-cli-cli. Narrow and sharp wings, red (top) and spotted (below) coloring of plumage, black strip at the end of the tail, which is red with a female with transverse stripes, and male with a steel color are striking. During the hunt for kestrels, the habit is to hang in the same place in the air. The voice of the Golden Owl can only be heard in early spring. His song consists of loud, 5-7 times repeated and gradually rising cries that have the character of a low whistle: "yyyyyyyyyyyy".

Of birds of prey in the pine forests are often settled buzzard and kite. If there is a floodplain nearby, then the kites sometimes nest even in colonies. This is typical mainly for forest-steppe forests and oak forests.

Among songbirds finch is most noticeable. This bird is familiar to many. She nests literally everywhere, where there is at least a small curtain of trees. In spring and summer, the chaffinch song is distributed even in the central regions of Moscow and Leningrad. In the pine forest finches are not as many as, for example, in suburban parks. But here, due to the general leanness of the bird choir, the loud and energetic song of this bird is especially noticeable. Quickly, within 2-3 seconds, the finch makes a falling trill with one spirit, abruptly ending it with a so-called stroke, and sometimes adds a short "ki" sound, as if putting a question mark. One song follows another. In one hour, the chaffinch manages to sing over 400 songs.

If there are artificial nests in the pine forest, then there must be a pied flycatcher, but it is better to get acquainted with it on excursions to old parks, where it is more numerous. The gray flycatcher is also characteristic of pine forests, but in general it is more typical of parks.

On the edges of pine forests, common species are the forest horse and common oatmeal, which has a simple but very pleasant song, ringing like a bell: "zinzinznnzinzinzin-sii-zii". While singing, oatmeal is gullible and allows you to consider yourself well. She is almost all yellow (male), back, nadhvoste and sides - chestnut. The nest in pine forests and oriole, which, however, is more numerous in oak forests and old parks. It is also typical of a nightjar, but his song must be listened to at night on a special excursion.

For pine forests is very characteristic thrush-peryaba. It is the largest of our thrushes. He can sometimes be seen sitting on top of a tree and singing his uncomplicated whistling song. It is loud and similar to the song of a blackbird, but higher in tone and much less diverse. Dyabiab can be distinguished by round dark spots on the light underside of the body, gray top and a specific cry of "tsrrrr.", Reminiscent of a soft dry crackling.

It is especially pleasant to meet a redstart coot in the pine forest. It lives in deciduous forests, as well as in parks and gardens, but in the pine forest it is more noticeable. Watching her is easier here than in other places. This is one of our most beautiful birds. In size it is slightly smaller than a sparrow, slim and high on the legs. The male has a white forehead, black head and throat, red chest and belly, a reddish-red tail that constantly trembles like a flame. A singing bird usually sits motionless on top of a tree and repeats one song after another. The period of greatest activity is the early morning hours. The song begins with a high whistle, followed by a low trill with an indefinite ending.

The redstart, living in the forest-steppe forests, is closely related to the cuckoo, which lays its eggs in the nests almost exclusively of the redstripe. Finding a nest with an egg or a cuckoo chick is a great success and should be used to tell about the unusual way of life of the cuckoo and about the phenomenon of nesting parasitism in general.

On the biology of the cuckoo. Cuckoo - a species extremely plastic, found in a variety of biotopes. However, she visits pine forests especially willingly. Here she finds rich food - pine silkworm caterpillars, as well as one of the main species, educators of her chicks, - Redstart. The voice of the male cuckoo is known to everyone, but it is hardly familiar to many in all its variants. With strong arousal, male crowing often turns into some kind of quagging, hoot, and even barking. The female responds to the male with so-called laughter, although, to tell the truth, her mating call is a little like laughter. It is rather a trill, consisting of very quickly following each other syllables "tyukutyukutyukutyukutyuku.", Reproduced by a low whistle and with a change in tonality. Imitating the cry of a female, it is sometimes possible to lure a male and make sure that it is not without reason that there is an expression “to replace the cuckoo with a hawk”. The long tail, gray top, striated bottom, yellow eye make the cuckoo really look like a sparrowing hawk. The female is dominated by red tones, especially on the back and nadhvoste. Among them come across and gray.

Fig. 24. Female redstart coot and raised in the nest of cuckoos (photo by A. Malchevsky)

In the USSR, cuckoo eggs were found in nests of more than 100 species of birds. Most often, it lays its eggs on white wagtails, redstarts, thrush-looking warblers and chargings. At the same time, the color of the shell of its eggs reveals a striking resemblance to the coloring of the shell of the eggs of the owners of the nest. The redstripe almost always find blue cuckoo eggs, which are very similar in color to the redstart eggs themselves. They differ only in larger sizes. Also known are reed, finch and other egg eggs. These remarkable facts suggest that the cuckoo has intraspecific biological groups specialized in laying eggs to various species of songbird. Thus, in the pine forests there is a race of cuckoos laying their blue eggs. Her biological connections with redstarts are constantly supported by the fact that young female cuckoos, brought up in redstart nests, next spring, when laying eggs, look for nests of the species in which they were raised, that is, redstart.

Laying an egg, always one in each nest, the cuckoo picks up one host egg and usually eats it. The number of eggs in the clutch as a result remains unchanged. The cuckoo's embryo develops quickly and hatch normally first. After some time, the cuckoo starts alternately ejecting the eggs that are in it or the nestlings of the host species that have already hatched, and, finally, remains alone. Cases of coeducation are very rare. Although the cuckoo is completely different from the nestlings of the birds - the owners of the nest, they feed it with the same zeal as their own.

In the forest-steppe oak grove

The first meeting with a representative of a new species is always remembered for a lifetime. For this purpose it is good to visit a deciduous forest, for example, a forest-steppe oak forest. Here there are several species that are difficult to find in other places. This is primarily a medium-colored motley woodpecker and a seamst flycatcher. Watching an average woodpecker is difficult. It is rare and, moreover, extremely restless. No wonder he has a second name - the fidgety woodpecker. Often you can hear his cry "kick-kick-kick." It sounds much softer than the cry of a great motley woodpecker. Distinctive features of an average woodpecker, which is generally similar to a large one, are smaller in size, the red top of the head (male) and black longitudinal mottles on the sides of the body.

Fig. 25. Middle Spotted Woodpecker (fig. A. Komarova)

The beloshka flycatcher is extremely similar to the motley species both in appearance and habits, including the song, which is generally surprising, since the song is usually completely different in close species of songbirds. The beloshika sings only slightly higher and more together. Externally, only males are visible. Like pestros, they are black on top, white on the bottom, on the forehead a large white spot, on the wing a white mirror. However, the white-haired white color spreads to the back of the neck, forming a collar. Nadhvoste too white.

Fig. 26. Flycatcher — beloshayka (below) and pestle (Fig. A. Komarova)

Of the characteristic birds of the oak forests and partially mixed forests, let us point out another scoop - a splyushka, or a dawn. In some places it is also found in gardens and even in city parks. Splyushka - migratory bird breeding relatively late. Therefore, the marriage cry can be heard throughout May and June. It is a melodic, somewhat melancholy whistling "I sleep, I sleep.", Published at regular intervals.

Fig. 27. Splyushka (fig. A. Formozova)

Two species of birds of prey: the dwarf eagle and the large falcon, the Saker Falcon, characteristic of the forest-steppe zone of the European part of the USSR, are now very rare. In recent decades, their numbers have fallen sharply, and now they need special protection. The more interesting meeting with them, which is still possible. Saker falcon usually nests high, in old crow nests, sometimes settling in colonies of gray herons. It keeps quietly, and it is difficult to see it, even at the nest. Most often, the Saker falcon gives out his voice - a loud, somewhat nasal and stretched "gyyak, gyayak.".

If an eagle-dwarf is still preserved in the forest, then it must necessarily catch the eye. During the mating game, the eagles tumble in the air, accompanying their flight with melodious high shouts. The color of the plumage of the eagle-dwarf varies greatly individually. One nest can meet light and dark forms.

On excursions in the forest-steppe oak grove, songs of singing and blackbirds are constantly heard. Relatively recently, the white-browed man appeared here. Charred and nightingales are numerous. About them we will be ahead, on the night tour. In some parts of the forest, there are large numbers of nuthatches, their excited, bubbling voices are heard, and the birds themselves are seen jumping along the trunks in all directions, even upside down. Sometimes you can observe a rare picture: the martial art of a nuthatch with a beetle deer. Beetle, bristling, sitting on the bottom of the trunk, the nuthatch attacks him from above.

Very common in the oak forests of the great tit, there is a blue tit. From Slavok numerous Chernogolovka and garden. They are extremely characteristic of old parks. Gray Slav and Zavirushka live on the outskirts of the forest. More often than in other places, here you can meet the hawk's glory, so named for the striated coloration of the underside of the body and the yellow eye, characteristic of males. She clings to the slopes, overgrown with blackthorn, wild cherries and other shrubs. Her song is reminiscent of the murmur of the garden slavka, but contains a bitterest knee. Like the gray snake, this bird often sings on the fly. Of penochek most common tenikovka and treshotka. The song of the latter represents a resounding long trill, beginning with separate voiced desires. The whole tune sounds like "tsip-tsiptsiptsip-syrrrr". Ratchet often sings in the air, flying from one tree to another low above the ground. In addition to the song, the male constantly publishes a plaintive whistle "bye, bye, bye-by-byyut." This is his second song.

Special attention should be paid to the observations of peremeshka, very common in oak forests. Outwardly, it looks like a rattle-stump. The greenish-yellow color of the plumage makes it invisible among the foliage, but a loud voice finally makes it possible to determine its location. When a bird sings, it can be seen how widely its yellow beak opens. In singing strikes a variety of borrowed sounds. It seems that somewhere the annoyance of a fieldfare is bursting, then the singing of the Orioles or the forest lark comes, then the voice of the Orioles is heard again, but already its restless cry, here excitedly thundered a white-tailed Thrush, then a quick and sharp “kei-kei-kei” rang out kestrels or the battle cry of the swallows driving away the predator, etc. Often, however, you can hear your own knee of the song of the peremeshka - choking whistle "twiu-iu, twi-iu", by which you usually recognize it.

For the oakwood is very characteristic oriole. Her loud flute vyvist "filia" or "fiuliufiu" you can always hear on trips. Often, the oriole accompanies its song with an equally loud exclamation, reminiscent of a cat's cry. It is possible that this sound expresses excitement, however, worrying at the nest and driving away the predator, the oriole alters the cry into a longer “yarrrr”.

Of woodpeckers, in addition to the motley motley, large and small motley also inhabit the oak forests. Common here and cuckoo, parasitic, in particular, on the hawk Slavka. On the outskirts there is an hoopoe - a bird, remarkable for its variegated color, huge crest, which it constantly lowers and raises, as well as a long curved beak. The hoopoe song sounds like a quickly repeated "yyyy". It is a low whistle, similar to the sound that arises when blown into a test tube.

Flocks of black swifts constantly fly over the forest. If you follow them, you can see that the swifts fly into the hollows of tall oaks. Here they breed chicks. Other individuals nest in the cracks of buildings of cities and towns or under the domes of churches. Are we dealing with two isolated populations of swifts in this case, or is nesting in such different conditions a manifestation of the ecological plasticity of birds? This question is still open.

In the crowns of large deciduous trees one can often hear the low, unhurried, repeated “repeatedly-long-short-short-short-long” sound repeated several times in a row. It coos a wild pigeon, a clintuch, nesting in the hollows of old oaks and lindens. Outwardly, he looks like a domestic pigeon. Seeing him sitting in a tree is difficult. This dove is careful. More often it has to be observed during the current flight. Sometimes you can witness a fight between two males. Their movements deserve to be captured on film, they are so interesting. On the sun-lit dry top of an oak tree, on a horizontal branch, against each other in a fighting pose of fencers, half-apart wings, there are two pigeons. They are getting closer, striking the wing with a fold of the wing, then bounce off rapidly. In this case, each tries to drive the other to the edge of the branch. Defeated one that first broke from the bitch. The enemy quickly overtakes him, for some time the fight continues in the air. Then the birds fly away. The winner returns to his tree and continues to current.

Numerous starlings and jackdaws also nest in hollows of oaks. Gray herons settle in forest-steppe oak forests, sometimes in large colonies, making nests on the tops of oak trees. This happens if there is a river floodplain or a lake nearby. The life of the black kite, which also settled in colonies, is also connected with the coast of water bodies. In some places, kites nest in herons, occupying their old buildings. As a result, constant noise reigns in heron colonies. Grown up chicks chirping loudly, shrill signals from adult birds, forced to drive away the kites, are heard, and the predators themselves are shouting, uttering a kind of whistling trill and the cry "cue-hihihihi, cue hihi".

On one ornithological excursion it is impossible to get acquainted with all types of birds characteristic of oak forests. We did not mention the typical for the forest-steppe areas of the red-footed falcon, turtle-dove, gray owl, roller roller, greenfinch, goldfinch, and oak-tree, sparrow, leading here forest life, as well as a number of other birds. Some of them are discussed below. For additional information, we refer the reader to an article by G. A. Novikov and co-authors of "Birds" Forests on Vorskla "and its environs."

On the forest moss swamp

Not every moss bog can provide the necessary material for an ornithological excursion, and not every visit, even of good land, is successful. Птицы, обитающие на моховом болоте и в окружающем его лесу, держатся скрытно или распространены крайне неравномерно и поэтому выявляются не сразу. Более или менее полное представление о составе птиц данного биотопа может сложиться лишь в результате неоднократных его посещений. Успех экскурсии во многом зависит от правильного выбора места и времени. Во всяком случае, для первого раза нужна консультация опытного человека, знающего расположение глухариных и тетеревиных токов, места, где могут гнездиться средние кроншнепы и золотистые ржанки, где держатся журавли.

Visiting moss bogs is associated with some difficulties. As a rule, they are far from populated areas. It happens to go on the road, sometimes on high melt water. All this requires appropriate equipment. We really need to leave for a few days with the expectation of spending the night in the forest. It is very important to have a camera with a telephoto lens and a portable tape recorder. There are still few good photographs, as well as recordings of the voices of birds living in moss swamps. The most suitable time to visit the moss bog is the first decade of May, when wood grouse and black grouse are still in full swing and the average curlew and golden plover have already arrived.

A successful excursion to the marsh, despite all its difficulties, can leave an indelible impression. The spring picture of nature in its original form is perceived here especially sharply. In general, the avifauna of moss bogs is quite diverse. According to the observations of E. V. Kumari, over 80 species of birds can be found in high bogs in Estonia. Almost half of them live here permanently. Nevertheless, during the day the birds are almost inaudible. Occasionally, during the current flight, he will publish his monotonous song, the meadow horse, and again quietly. Only from the nearest forest can the voices of forest skates and individual stanzas of song thrushes be heard.

Moss swamps are generally poor in songbirds. Representatives of unpowered birds nest here: grouse, cranes, sandpipers, diurnal predators. On the outskirts of moss bogs, for example, small falcons, such as the hochlok and merlin, sometimes settle. Relatively recently, in the fifties, the peregrine falcons were found in the mossy swamps of the Leningrad Region and in the Baltic States. However, at present this large falcon is considered to have disappeared from the entire central belt. Both the eagle-golden eagle and the osprey were typical for the outskirts of moss bogs, but they have disappeared from most places, and there are very few inhabited nests of these predators. In essence, they are now living monuments of nature.

Of the songbirds, in addition to the meadow ridge mentioned above, gray shrike is typical. He sings extremely irregularly and is rare. It is a little smaller than the starling. Note the long tail. The color of the plumage is gray with white, a dark stripe goes through the eye, white “mirrors” are noticeable on the wings. Sitting on top of a stunted pine tree, he notices a person from a distance and, as he approaches, silently or issuing a sharp “four-four”, flies away to the side in a wavy flight. Of the other songbirds, the yellow wagtail, meadow chase and even the field lark can be encountered. However, in order to look at these birds, you should not walk a few kilometers through the swamp. In the meadows and fields of their much more. The main purpose of the excursion is to visit wood-grouse and grouse currents, listen to cranes, find a settlement of medium-curlews and golden plovers.

On wood-grouse a current. Most of the capercaillie currents are located on the outskirts of the moss bog, bordering on pine. If the place of the current is already familiar, it is necessary to go there with the calculation in order to catch the so-called "eavesdropping." The fact is that wood grouses flock to tokovische even in the evening, after sunset. They arrive one at a time at considerable intervals. At the latitude of Leningrad, it takes about an hour to wait, from about 20.30 to 21.30, until the last bird arrives. Usually 7-8 birds gather, but for large currents up to 20-25 roosters can sometimes fly into a square kilometer.

On "overheard" accounting of wood grouses is carried out. When they sit down in the trees, they are noisy with their wings and crackling loudly, and this noise, which can be heard from afar, makes it possible to determine the number of birds that have flown and the place of their landing. It should only be borne in mind that the wood-grouse, before finally settling down, flies 2-3 times with noise from tree to tree.

In anticipation of the grouse of the grouse involuntarily stiff ear. There can be not only wood grouses, but in the twilight forest only sounds help determine which birds live around. Usually a long time is quiet. Sometimes a thrush-tongue whistle several times, in the distance, horkaya, a woodcock flies by, finely gnaws through a grouse and becomes silent, then a screaming cry of a duck dragon, calling for drakes, is heard, and after a while it sounds, and there is a lake nearby.

Finally, the raid of the first grouse is heard. Soon, the second one sits very close to the top of the pine tree with a roar, and immediately its loud “uh” is heard (when sounding images, these syllables should be pronounced, drawing air inward). The same shouts come from the side to from other wood grouses. For a while, the birds call each other and then subside. Separate capercaillie begin to sing in the evening, but they soon fall silent, sitting on the branch on which they will talk in the morning. At this time, you can hear the cry of the eagle owl flying to the hunt. It has now become a great rarity, but sometimes even settles on the outskirts of marshes.

Silence reigns in the forest for several hours. By the fire, divorced aside, you can relax, but not for long. Before 3 o'clock in the morning, you need to have time to get to the same place, so as not to miss the beginning of the toking of wood grouses. When approaching the tokovischu, one can hear the distant cry of the long-nosed owl "yyyyyyyy" or the croaking voice of the snake.

The grouse sings his first song in the dark. Often he begins it immediately after the sharp, near, even frightening, voice of the current male goat, "gok-crrrr-quo-quo-quo." This cry, apparently, provokes the grouse to the first song. Hunters are sometimes even called the white partridge as the conductor of the capercaillie current.

Fig. 28. The meeting of the wood-grouse with the wood-grouse

At first, the wood-grouse only “packs”, making separate clicks with large intervals, which then, gradually becoming more frequent, turn into a single song. It consists of two parts: a gradually increasing flipping - “tacking” and a deaf part - “turning”, so called for its resemblance to the sound that occurs when turning a knife. In western grouse, between the tacking and turning, there is a so-called "main strike" or "cork sound" (Hauptschlag - German., Corknote - English), after which the bird stops hearing for a few seconds. By its nature, it is an exact copy of the sound that occurs when removing a cork from a bottle. Our wood grouses also stall during turning. They sometimes do not even pay attention to the shot, although the cork sound in their song is usually absent. It is published only by very few individuals living in the Northwest.

The whole song lasts about 6 seconds. You can portray it with the syllables "tk-tk-tkktktktkttrrkl-chfssshsfshsh-chfssshsfshsh-chfsshfchsh.". This is only an approximate image. There is essentially no vowel sound in it. It is more a whisper than a song. It is heard at a distance of not more than two hundred meters. When the wood grouse is seated, he takes no breaks and repeats one song after another many times in a row. The pose of the current bird is extremely characteristic: the neck and tail are raised high up and directed almost parallel, the white beak is ajar and looks up too, the feathers on the throat are sticking out. However, in the dark you can catch only the contours of the singing bird.

Hardly dawn breaks as wood grouse (not all) begin to fly to the ground, where they meet with wood grouse. On the trees continue to sing younger, who have not yet made a harem. Around the old birds sometimes hold 3-4 deaf. On earth, the capercaillie tokes are particularly fervent, with jumps. Females leave tokovische before males. After their departure, wood grouse sings again in the trees. Active current lasts until 6-7 am. Then there is a roll call - the same as in the evening, and the birds fly away. Individual males sometimes continue to sing until 10-11 hours.

When returning from the capercaillie current attention is distributed. Everything is pleasing to the eye and hearing, and as if for the first time this year, suddenly you begin to feel the real spring. It is already in full swing - wolf's bark blooms, sleep-grass buds bloomed on dry manes and the voices of birds are heard everywhere, which are carried far through the damp morning air. Loud whistling songs echo the thrushes-sisters. Above the marsh logging bleats lamb snipe.

In the forest, tangles are heard, and a great colorful woodpecker is drumming somewhere nearby. Finches and forest skates are singing, and the cries of a flight of geese fly high in the air. However, the morning voices of common cranes, which are heard from the side of the moss bog, are especially characteristic of early May. They are always perceived joyfully.

Fig. 29. Duo of Common Cranes (photo O. Rusakova)

The sounds made by cranes in the spring come in two types. This is primarily their spring song, which they always perform as a duet. Birds raise their heads high and together shout together: "Skoko-o-rum-skoko-o-rum-skoko-o-rum." Their song is carried far away around the neighborhood, and in this case they say: "Cranes blow dawn". Spring voices of cranes are heard at times, at certain hours, and always appear completely unexpectedly. Another vocal response of cranes - a call-up shout - is published throughout the year. This is the so-called turdling. It is also performed by a duet. One bird screams "chickens", another, echoing it, immediately adds "ly". As a result, a single “hens-like” signal is heard. And only when the crane is lonely, its call signal sounds like "hens". Sometimes it is possible to peep and dancing cranes. Fluttering their wings, the birds amusingly jump or run in large strides along a certain part of the swamp, accompanying their actions with loud cries. Several birds are often involved in dancing.

Grouse current. In the mornings, moss bogs in some places literally buzz from the voices of tokens. If we ignore the quaggling of the tetras, then three kinds of sounds emitted by the males can be heard on the current: “muttering”, which is carried farthest, “chuf-fucking”, which is heard only occasionally, and, finally, “crowing”. The last sound is not directly related to the current. It can be heard in different seasons of the year. This is an alarm. When the black grouse is alarmed with something, he pulls himself out and, somewhat nasal and lisping, shouts “ku-ka-karrrka”. Mumbling, if you listen to a separate blackcock, has the character of a real decorated song, repeated many times in a row. It can be reproduced by a very low vibrating whistle: "Bubububu-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo." If several grouse sing at once in one place, and 10-15, sometimes even 25, can gather, then the songs of the birds merge into a common hum. And the more grouse on the current, the more they will attract females from the larger territory. This is the biological meaning of group toking. Where the black grouse is small or the current is broken, the males talk one by one.

It is difficult to approach current grouse, they are very careful. Watch them accounted for from the huts installed in advance on the current. They talk about black grouse from about 3 o'clock until late morning. Sometimes they sing in the evening, but not for long.

Fig. 30. Current Grouse (photo by E. Golovanov)

In the hut should sit at night, at half past two. Grouse on current flow in complete darkness. The harbingers of arrival are often the voices of thrushes. When approaching black grouse can be heard only the whistle of their wings. Then there is complete silence. After some time, in the darkness, the loud "chuffs" of the first black grouse are heard. In response, the others immediately chuffs, each several times. Then all fall silent, sit, listen. And suddenly, as if on cue, everyone starts to mumble - and the current is seething.

In the morning, when the sun rises, a surprisingly beautiful sight opens up. Bowed their heads down and spreading their tails in lira, large red-browed birds sit in swamps in various poses. Their, in general, dark plumage in the sun casts blue glitter. They are constantly turning, as if showing a bright white underside of the tail. At times, they alternately, with noise, fly up a candle up and sit down again. They do this more often when a hen flies over the current. By 8-9 am the black grouse gradually leave their tokische.

Waders bogs. The most typical birds of upland bogs from waders are the golden plover and the curlew. They usually settle semi-colonially, that is, several pairs at a distance of 50-80 meters from one another. Being representatives of the tundra landscape, both species in mid-latitudes nest only in extensive moss swamps. Golden plovers prefer to settle in completely open areas where cranberries and cloudberries grow, medium curlews inhabit swamps that are sometimes overgrown with small pine and dwarf birch trees. Find the nesting sites of these birds is not easy. In the vast expanses of swamp their settlements are rare. You need to go a few kilometers before the birds can be found. Two subspecies of these birds nest in the northwestern regions and the Baltic states: the southern and northern ones. The latter is characterized by white stripes on the sides of the neck (this detail should be checked).

In early spring, shortly after arrival, golden plovers are flowed in groups. Birds bow to each other or straighten out sharply, as if showing a dark lower body. After the females sit on the nests, the males begin to current one by one. They make flights, accompanying them with a loud whistle. Flying over the site, they then plan, then rush at high speed, sometimes hover in one place, fluttering their wings.

Middle curlews also talk on the ground and in the air. Their current flight is accompanied by a song that has the character of a high trill. Down on the ground, they take interesting poses: they throw their heads back, fan their necks, press their beaks against them, and all the while emit long shouts.

In recent decades, the lapwing and large curlews began to move to the raised bogs from the fields. This sandwich has a particularly powerful voice. His song, published during the game flight, sounds both day and night. To convey it in words is difficult. It starts with comparatively low, gradually rising and quivering, stretched sounds and then, accelerating, turns into a high rattling whistling trill, which finally decreases again in tone. It is easy to learn a big curlew in appearance. This is a large bird with a very long curved down beak.

Fig. 31. Great Curlew (photo by Y. Pukinsky)

In areas adjacent to the seacoasts, in a moss swamp, it is extremely rare, you can find a large spindle. He also speaks in the air, uttering loud cries of "krviityyu, krvii-tyuyu.". This sandpiper has a very long straight beak and bright red color of the neck, chest and goiter.

Where the moss bog borders the forest, two more species of sandpipers can be found near streams or small lakes: a large ulita and a chernysha. The first of them, flying over the nesting site, shouts for a long time: "Victor, Victor, Victor.", The second announces the surroundings with loud jubilant sounds, "tiklyuy-tiklyuy-tiklyuy, tiklyuite-tiklyuyte.". Flying high above the forest in circles, Chernysh repeats these phrases quickly, one by one, many times in a row. Chernysh - a small bird, the size of a starling. Being scared off the ground and taking off, he publishes high "ki-ki-ki" or "lamb-lamb". At this moment, a white overhang is striking, clearly distinguished from the almost black color of the back and wings.

Almost all the birds of the moss bogs mentioned by us: predators, as well as grouse, cranes and sandpipers, with which we met during the excursion, are of great value. Their total number is gradually decreasing, and some species are on the verge of extinction. The well-being of these birds depends entirely on the state of the moss bogs and their margins, to preserve them is one of the important tasks of protecting our nature.

In the fields and dry meadows

Fields and dry meadows, in general, are not rich in songbirds. And I must say that they are becoming less and less due to the use of mechanized farming methods. Among the field birds that truly sing well, you can probably point only to the larks, and above all to the field and steppe birds. Their spring singing is notable for its special charm. In both species, there is a tendency to imitate extraneous sounds, but it does not appear in all birds. In order to catch borrowed elements in the song of the skylark, you need to listen to more than one bird.

The field lark, rising into the air, sings for several minutes. Then, almost on fixed wings, it begins to descend lower and lower. Finally, the sounds fade away, and the skylark, folding its wings, falls to the ground. After some time, he again rises with a song into the air from about the same place. Sometimes larks sing on the ground, sitting on stones or bumps, but this happens only in the early morning or in strong winds, when there are no ascending air currents that help the lark to make a flight.

Fig. 32. Steppe Lark (fig. A. Komarova)

Other larks also sing in the air. Most of them live in forest-steppe and steppe regions of our country. In the forest-steppe zone in the fields you can hear the loud and very beautiful singing of the steppe lark. It is much larger than the field. Painted in grayish-sand tones, but on the goiter has two black spots or a black collar. When you notice a singer in the air, you involuntarily notice how much slower he flaps his wings in comparison with the field lark. In the southeast of the European part of the USSR, the white-winged lark is also found in the steppe and semi-desert areas. Его узнают по рыжей шапочке на голове и белым пятнам на крыльях, которые бросаются в глаза, когда птица перелетает с места на место. Однако наиболее обычный из жаворонков, обитающих в южной части средней полосы России, - хохлатый. На север он проникает до Псковской области. Свою несложную песню он тоже издает, как правило, в воздухе. При этом летает он невысоко и довольно беспорядочно. Его "хихикающий" голосок послужил поводом называть его на Украине посметюшкой. Хохлатый жаворонок - обычная птица задворков и пустырей.

Fig. 33. Хохлатый жаворонок (рис. А. Кондакова)

Among the larks, constantly taking off and sitting on the ground, in the fields you can sometimes notice a small grayish bird, the singing of which consists of short intermittent sounds. She also sings on the fly, but does not rise up like a lark, but flies along a gentle curve. This is a field horse.

Of the songbirds that are often found among the fields, let us point out also the heater, which often keeps near the roads. In areas occupied by perennial grasses, sometimes yellow wagtails and meadow chases settle, but we will tell about them later.

Among the nevoryobinyh birds in the south-eastern regions on steppe meadows, near estuaries or in depressions, you can find the steppe rim, which has now become rare in many places. This representative of waders in flight is more like a large swallow than a wader. The flax has long narrow wings, a forked tail and a short beak. It nests usually in colonies. Great luck - a meeting with a bustard, as its number has drastically decreased. True, lately there have been consoling information from the Saratov, Rostov, and Voronezh regions. The bustards adapted to breed chicks in the grain fields, and their number began to increase.

Fig. 34. Field (1) and meadow (2) looney. On the left - males, on the right - females

Very interesting marriage games looney. These long-winged predators, in flight similar to seagulls, usually move low above the ground. However, during the token period, they sometimes soar high up, then fall rapidly down, turning over on the fly. At the same time loud cries are heard. Most often, one has to observe field and meadow moons. In both species, the males are gray above, only the ends of the wings are black. The females are brown, with a white nadhvost. Difficult to distinguish them. The invocation cry is similar and sounds like "Pyrrr.". When meeting with the males need to look through binoculars on the wing. If a dark stripe runs along its base, then it is a meadow harrier. It adheres to more humid places than field, and belongs essentially to the fauna of flood plains.

Fig. 35. Quail (photo by A. Malchevsky)

For the fields and dry meadows, there are two representatives of the chicken squad: the gray partridge and the quail, the mating whistle of which is "fit-pilvit" in the forest-steppe zone can be heard from May to mid-August. Male quail can be easily caught and caught in the net. You only need to take care of everything you need in advance - semolina, nets and rings for ringing birds. Having heard the imitation of the female's voice - a thin double rattling whistle, a quail, having made several flights, rushes to the sound and runs up to the net spread out on the grass. As he approaches, he begins to change the character of his song, which now has the meaning of a call to mate. Rising "on tiptoe" and stretching up his neck, he makes a double low sound "in time", which immediately turns into a regular song. At this point, and you have to jump, shout and throw up the cap. A scared quail takes off and hits the net.

One of the most common birds of the fields and meadows is the lapwing. Relatively recently, he settled to the north, where he mastered all the suitable stations. Now the tusk-tree can be found nesting in suburban fields, in meadows along river valleys. Nests and chicks were found even on the turnip fields. Therefore, on the spring ornithological excursion, it is not difficult to get acquainted with current flights and songs of lapwings. It is more difficult to grasp a regular sequence in their movements. With a hoarse and dreary cry, "Whose-vi" a lapwing, rustling its wings, flies over a certain part of the meadow. From time to time he tumbles in the air and makes four sounds: "kui-kiuku-kui". The last cry always coincides with a roll.

On the coasts of water bodies and in flood plains

The floodplains of the rivers with their flood meadows and thickets of shrubs are much richer in birds than the fields. However, most of the birds living here are late migrants. Therefore, the tour is better to make in the first half of June. Different types of warblers and crickets, shepherd birds and waders vibrate and sing most intensely at night, and a special night excursion is needed to get to know their voices.

The coastal strip. In the daytime, on the banks of rivers and lakes, overgrown with wetland vegetation, most often, perhaps, you can find warbler warbler. The bird was named so for the dark and light longitudinal stripes on the head, characteristic of a badger. The singing of this warbler consists of high whistles, snappy and shrill shouts, alternating each other quickly and published in an indefinite sequence: "Cyri-Cyr-tereter-tereter (sometimes very long). Kli-lily-Kli-lily. chi. chi. tere. " Often in the song a badger you can catch the sounds taken from other birds - waders, yellow wagtails, etc. Mimics the badger and the starling, anxious at the nest, great variegated woodpecker and other birds. Usually quite secretive, while singing, this warbler is selected on the towering branches of the bush or sits on the highest reeds, as if trying to show himself. Sometimes the badger flies up. On the fly the song does not stop. Having flown some distance by demonstrative flight, the warbler again hides in the thickets of reeds. Barsuchok is one of the most actively singing birds on the coasts of reservoirs. Her song can be heard both day and night from arrival to the end of July.

Fig. 36. Marsh warbler (Fig. A. Komarova)

It is quite common in river floodplains and other warbler - marsh. It is very widespread and has recently penetrated north to southern Karelia. Her imitative abilities are even more pronounced than those of a badger. The song is a hasty, very diverse and melodic chirp, consisting of combinations of whistling and crackling syllables, as well as signals from different birds, exactly copied. This is a small olive-colored bird with a bright bottom, fast in movement. It holds in the shrub zone of the floodplain. It is also found in old parks. For her, in general, is characterized by night singing, but often her voice can be heard during the day, although she sings less brightly during the daytime.

Fig. 37. Thrush warbler (Fig. A. Komarova)

The largest warbler - the thrush - can also be heard on the day excursion. It keeps at the river or lake and sings, sitting on a reed or in the bushes filled in with water. She has a strong, rough voice. The song always begins with low croaking sounds, which alternate with shrill cries, gradually becoming higher. It consists of 5-6 packs of sounds, immediately following one after the other: "Careker-Krakra-Krakru-Kirikiri-Kiki".

One of the representatives of the cricket clan, the nightingale cricket, sings near the water on reeds or cattail stalks. His song is also often heard during the day, although he, like all other crickets, is a night singer. By the nature of the song he is very similar to an ordinary cricket. However, they cannot be confused, since they adhere to completely different stations. In addition, the nightingale cricket has a uniform reddish-brown color of the back, whereas in the ordinary it is lighter and spotted with dark longitudinal spots.

On the bank of a river or a lake in reeds or thickets of willow bushes near the water one often hears unhurried sounds resembling a sparrow chirping: "ji-ji-three-turi-ji-three." They are repeated regularly at regular intervals. It sings reed bunting - a bird that is extremely widespread. She still sits on a branch of a bush. The size of the oatmeal with a sparrow, in the color of the plumage the black head and throat, the bright "whiskers" and the collar are striking.

Among the thickets of reeds and reeds on the windows of the water are some shepherd birds - painted in dark tones of coot and moorhen. They differ in size and color of the beak and the color of the bare plaque on the head: the large coot has a white plaque, the small moorhen has a red one, the same as the beak.

Here you can also see the drakes of various ducks - mallards, whistlers and crackers. In June, usually females already sit on nests or lead broods, and drakes still continue to flaunt their bridal outfit. They are already going in small groups before flying to molt. Characterized also for coastal thickets of diving - crested and red-headed. It is not difficult to distinguish them. The crested pochard is black, with a bright white side, a crest on the head and a yellow eye. The chestnut-colored redhead dive has a head and neck, a light gray back and a dark chest. In addition, the red-headed dive has a loud, noticeable voice. However, his cries "ke-rere" are not heard very often. Chomgi are visible on the water, the marsh harrier can sometimes fly over the reeds, gulls and terns fly over the water. Their description is given in other sections of the book.

Where the river bank or lakes are deprived of dense thickets, white wagtails, well-known to all, hold themselves, sometimes a small sandpiper catches the eye. Both species have a similar habit of continuously pumping their tails. Wagtails sit on stones protruding from the water or run in small, mincing steps along shallows. Kulik-carrier behaves about the same, but he constantly flies from one stretch of coast to another, almost touching the wings of the water. However, he often performs his spring song. This is a very sonorous and far-reaching trill, consisting of subtle whistling sounds, continuously following each other: "titisiti-titisiti-titicity.". The carrier can be found everywhere: on the coast, on the shore of a lake and a river, on forest rapids and streams. It is smaller than the starling, brownish above, white below, with a dark bloom on the sides of the goiter.

Fig. 38. Small plover on a sandbar (photo by Yu. Pukinsky)

If on the banks of rivers and lakes there are sand or pebble shoals, then you can always see a small plover. This is a small short-eyed sandpiper with a white spot on the forehead and a dark collar. Below it is white, on top painted in sand color. With a seed run, he swiftly squints along the coastal strip, uttering his call-out cry "i-i-i-i-i-i." During mating flights, performed by circles low above the ground, the zuikas give the same signal, but more frequently. In connection with the development of the beaches, the small plover gradually leaves the coastal strip and moves to vacant lots and suburban landfills.

Meadows Riverine floodplain meadows and kochkorniki sometimes very extensive. In this case, the bird fauna inhabiting them can be very rich and number several dozen species. Yellow wagtails and meadow chasers most often come across here. The singing of these birds is quiet and uncharacteristic. Yellow Wagtails essentially do not have a real song. Sitting on tall stalks of meadow grasses or on branches of bushes, they make short desires or chatter indefinitely. The males, fluffed up, fly from one bush to another, as if specially demonstrating the bright yellow color of the underside of the body.

Fig. 39. Meadow chisel (photo by Y. Pukinsky)

Meadow buds also constantly sit on tall grasses. In body shape, they are the exact opposite of wagtails - stocky and short-tailed. In coloring of plumage white shoulders, a light eyebrow and a dark strip going through an eye are evident. The upper body is dark, the bottom is light with a pinkish-brown coating on the chest. The size of the chase is less than the sparrow. Being scared, the bird flies low above the ground. The song of the meadow chase is a short chirping phrase in which, to be careful, you can hear sounds resembling the quick beats of pebbles. Some chasers sometimes imitate the voices of other birds.

If shrubs grow in the meadow, then here you can hear the singing of a gray snake, lentils, ordinary oatmeal, and meet the shrike-Zhulan. Although the latter species belongs to the group of songbirds, nevertheless, by its gloomy appearance, one can immediately say that Zhulan leads a predatory way of life. Its strong beak with a prong on the upper mandible allows it to cope with lizards, voles and small birds. The shrike imposes its victims on sharp bitches and tears off their heads. The predatory activity of the redneck increases in bad weather, when the activity of the insects, for which it mainly hunts, decreases. There is no regular demonstrative song of this shrike. Occasionally, hiding in the bushes, he quietly sings, imitating the voices of various birds. Only at the moment of caring for the female, the male, being in close proximity to her, squeals loudly in a raspy voice, taking hilarious poses: he will stretch with a string and pull out his chest, then he will crouch, etc.

On the damp meadows, covered with rare bushes, sometimes a very original, easily remembered song of Dubrovnik is heard. It consists of gradually rising melodic stanzas: "to the Khiluhilu-Khilikhili-Tilitili-Chuchu". The song varies greatly individually, however, it is always possible to recognize the view from it. The male of Dubrovnik has a dark chestnut head, yellow abdomen and chest, across which there is a dark stripe. The bird sits in a prominent place and endlessly whistles its motive, each time pulling it upwards.

Fig. 40. Male Shrike-Zhulan (photo by A. Malchevsky)

Extensive riverine meadows attract many waders: turukhtanov, snipe, large curlews, herbalists and fi-fi. Snipe sometimes tokens during the day, but it is better to listen to it on a nightly excursion. The curlew is now less and less nesting in the meadows, where it is disturbed, and more often begins to settle in the moss swamps. For herbalists, however, extensive river floodplains and lake meadows continue to be the main nesting site. Herbalist's song gives a special flavor to the open landscape, enhancing its monotonous charm. It sounds quite melodious and can be depicted by the rapidly repeating words “grass-grass-grass-grass-grass”. Tricks herbalist, like most sandpipers, in the air. During the song, it hangs in one place and then begins to fly again over a certain area at a height of 15-20 meters. Looking at the herbalist through binoculars, you can see the red legs, white back and white "mirrors" on the wings. Kulik fi fi, tokuya, flies over the meadow is usually very high. At times, he rushes from side to side and makes a short song. By the general nature of the sound, it resembles the song of the forest lark and can be conveyed by the syllables "pi-pi-logy-logy-logy". Sitting on the ground, fi-fi swings his tail like a carrier. On the flight you can see a white upper tail. The general color is brownish-gray in variegated.

Fig. 41. Crake (photo by A. Malchevsky)

Although the corncrake shouts most intensely at dusk and at night, its voice can often be heard during the day. He can not be confused with anything. Lusciously and quite rhythmically, the corncrake repeats its raspy number "rrya-rarya-rarya-rarya" countless times. Sometimes a bird doubles the sound, and then the song sounds like "rar-rahr, rah-rahr.". Crake's voice spreads over the surrounding meadows far and can be heard for more than a kilometer. A current bird can come close to itself, but it is not easy to see, as it is always hiding in the grass. She takes off extremely reluctantly. To imitate her voice (with the help of a tape recorder) she runs up close, and in this case the crake can be discerned. It is about the size of a turtle-dove, only flat from the sides and on long legs. The ocher-red tones of plumage are striking.

Fig. 42. Turukhtan in the marriage dress (photo Yu. Pukinsky)

If you are lucky enough to meet a group of talkers on a wet meadow, you can get great pleasure. You can not look at them without emotion. They keep close group in which about ten brightly painted males are. Modestly dressed females roam alone. Males funny jump, flap their wings, take fighting poses, spin in one place. Then suddenly, as if on cue, they freeze in a silent scene. When new birds arrive, not necessarily females, the whole company comes to life again. Turukhtany sounds almost do not emit. Only clapping wings are heard during jumps. Turukhtans fight, in general, a little, more often imitate a fight. Their nuptial attire is an example of extraordinary polymorphism: there are no two identical males. Coloring of feathers of the collar, head and underside - the most visible parts of the body is especially diverse. There are birds with black, red, ocher, gray, variegated collars. In short, each male is individual, marked by nature with his own color.

In the white night

There are a number of bird species whose singing activity peaks during the period of white nights. These are the nightingale, different types of warblers and crickets, as well as the cowherd boys - crake and crake. All of them live off the coast of reservoirs and get to know their voices best in the valleys of rivers and lakes. From the forest birds at times of the white nights are often heard owls, as well as the nightjar. Owls already have chicks at this time. They keep still a brood and constantly overlap. The nightjar song must be listened to in the pine forest. Here you can also find broods of long-eared owls. It is easiest to find the chicks of the gray owl in the old park or in the oak forest. In the white nights the weather is usually quiet and windless, the ear is sharpened, so that even distant sounds are perceived quite clearly. Birds at this time sing for a long time, without interruption, and let them close to them for a short distance. Most of them manage to bring tourists around closely. The proximity of birds and the general mystery of the situation make people talk quietly, almost in a whisper.

About singing nightingales. In northern latitudes, singing of nightingales is associated with lilac flowering and white nights. Если маршрут ночной экскурсии проходит вблизи сырого мелколесья или зарослей кустарников у реки, то здесь почти обязательно мы услышим пение соловья. На него нельзя не обратить внимание. Оно чрезвычайно громкое. Некоторые части соловьиной песни среди ночной тишины бывают слышны очень далеко. Поражают удивительная сочность, глубина, широкий диапазон воспроизводимых звуков и какая-то торжественность исполнения. Песня соловья состоит из хорошо различимых колен - повторяющихся высвистов и раскатистых трелей.The nightingale begins it slowly, but always ends with acceleration. If the bird is not disturbed by anything, it sings one song after another almost without interruptions. The nightingale sings especially intensively if he plays his own song on the tape recorder. In this case, he can fly very close and sing at a distance of 2-3 meters. Nightingales perform separate knees of the song in a specific sequence. The beginning and the end are the most consistent, the nightingale can alter the middle part of the song. This indicates that the repertoire of each singer is much wider than what is performed by him in one song.

In the past century, when the content of nightingales in cages was in vogue, they attracted many amateurs to taverns and tea shops with their singing. Connoisseurs of the nightingale song each tribe was given a special name: “initiative”, “pipe”, “kukushkin flight”, “tangling”, “drozdik”, “crane”, “sandpiper”, “fraction”, “knockoff”, “trifle” and etc. In addition, depending on the nature of the sound, each knee received an additional name. For example, among the "pipes" distinguished "Lesheva pipe", "Polish", "watering". A more detailed description of the nightingale's knees can be found in the book “Songbirds” by IK Shamov.

In Leningrad, the knees in the songs of nightingales are usually arranged in the following order: "fyuit-fyuit (" initiative ") - tu-tu-tu (" pipe ") - tiklyuy-tiklyuy (" kulik ") -kliklikliklikliklikli (kukushkin flight)) - hochocochechny ("stukotnya") - trrrrrrrrrrrrrrrtsy ("fraction") ".

The old names of the nightingale's knees are interesting in that many of them characterize the song of the nightingale as to some extent imitative. The nightingale, in fact, often enriches his song with the sounds that he hears around, although he always performs them in his own, nightingale mode. Nonetheless, some of his knees resemble voices of the spring whiffs, cuckoo females, black woodpecker, song thrush and other birds. Individual nightingales in the Moscow, Leningrad and Pskov regions rather well imitate the Horkian woodcock. In passing, we note that a close species - the southern nightingale that lives in Western Europe, the Caucasus and the mountains of Central Asia, is also prone to echoes, although its song is not as beautiful as its northern counterpart.

The song of old nightingales is more powerful and diverse than the young, who often sing uncertainly and indistinctly. In one song, nightingales usually include 6-8 tribes, but sometimes singers who perform 12 or more tribes come across. The letter recording of the song of one of these nightingales, who once lived in the park of the Forestry Institute (now the park of the S.M. Kirov Forestry Academy), was made at the time by D. N. Kaigorodov and is given in his famous book “From the Kingdom of Birds ".

The sonorousness and variety of the melody are reached by nightingales for the second or third year of life, and then only if the young birds have the opportunity to listen to the song of the old. When there are no good singers nearby, the nightingales never learn to sing for real. It is known, for example, that at the beginning of the last century the Kursk nightingales were most valued. However, as I. K. Shamov informs, already in the 30s the Kursk nightingales began to sing much worse. After Kursk Chernigov and Polish became famous, whose tunes also soon deteriorated. Then came into fashion the so-called Earl of Nightingales. The nightingale song was impoverished, of course, not everywhere, but in the places of traditional capture, where the old, most well-singing birds were caught. Since the young nightingales didn’t have anyone to adopt the real song, their singing gradually turned into a rattle and knocking - the knee, which are peculiar to the nightingales, obviously, of age, and arise without learning.

It is characteristic that the quality of singing in Kursk nightingales decreased soon after they became highly valued in the Moscow market. For the first-class singer, merchants in those days paid up to 2,000 rubles. The rise in prices led to the fact that the birders caught nightingales by the hundreds, rushing first of all to the places from which the birds that had gained special fame were brought. As a result, the quality of nightingale singing was significantly reduced.

At the time of the white nights, nightingales are heard already at 8-9 o'clock in the evening, but they sing most ardently at dusk when the singing of thrushes dies out. After midnight the song is already distributed irregularly.

Songs of garden warblers and crickets. In the middle of the night, when the nightingales fall silent, various warblers and crickets begin to sing actively. We have already met some of them before. But our ideas about the singing of these birds will be incomplete if we do not listen to the songs of the garden warbler. It is necessary to look for it in relatively dry places - on forest edges covered with bushes, or on growing deforestation. She often sings also in gardens and parks and in overgrown nettle plots in villages.

The garden warbler sings charmingly. People who do not know the birds, often take it for the nightingale, although the gentle song of warbler has little to do with the powerful nightingale peals and whistles. The song at the garden warbler is slow and measured. It whistles several times various signals and snatches of songs taken from other birds, which it performs in its own manner, but always very clean and melodious. The warbler copes most accurately the disturbing signals of the finch male, юм п pinpin,. She also imitates the voices of thrushes — the belobrovik, the singing and fieldfare — and other birds. Almost every knee she seems to beat off with a characteristic check-check-check or tr-tr-tr, and this manner gives the whole melody a special rhythm. Very often published whistle "ti-viv", heard furthest. While singing the garden warbler is kept in the bushes. Sometimes it allows you to get very close to yourself, but you can’t see it in the twilight. You can see it with prolonged singing early in the morning, at sunrise.

Crickets got its name for a kind of singing, reminiscent of the chirring of grasshoppers. If the route of the night excursion passes through the valley of the river, where bushes grow in damp meadows, then it is quite possible to hear the song of the river cricket. It seems that somehow unusually loud, without smolka, a grasshopper chirps in the bushes for many minutes in a row. After a short break, a long, rhythmically vibrating, ringing trill "zirzirzirzir-zirzir" is heard again. The song is heard now quieter, then louder, because the cricket turns all the time, sending its marriage signal in all directions.

Fig. 43. River cricket (fig. A. Komarova)

In the valleys of rivers, as well as in forest clearings, sometimes even in the middle of a rye field on a white night, you can hear the song of an ordinary cricket. It reproduces a smooth high trill, which, like that of a river cricket, lasts several minutes in a row and after a short break it sounds long again - and so on all night. You can depict it in the form of a continuous "rrrrrrrr.".

Current chase and snipe, woodcock traction. The current snipe and woodcock in northern latitudes, as is known, begins in April and lasts until the end of June - mid-July. Thus, in the period of white nights, the mating signals of these birds are a common phenomenon. But most actively talk, perhaps, chases. The voice of these chickens is incredibly strong and can be heard far beyond the floodplain, where their current occurs. In humid years, when the zone of shallow water expands significantly, several males may occur in a relatively small area of ​​the floodplain. Each of them incessantly publishes a short and high whistle "uit, uit, uit" repeating about once a second. When birds gather, this cry merges into a solid choir. The whistle of pogonyshs is heard all night long and stops only by morning. These birds stay in wetlands near the water. Individual males sometimes weave even in small bodies of water, for example, on the shore of a pond overgrown with horsetail.

It is very difficult to see the humpback not only at night, but also during the day. He leads a traveling terrestrial lifestyle and is constantly hiding among the dense vegetation. It takes off only in case of extreme necessity and, not far from having flown away, again descends into the grass. On the flight, like in the corncrake, long legs hanging down are striking. This is a medium-sized bird, a little more than a starling.

In the twilight of a white night, sometimes in the morning, in the valley of the river, a soft, gradually rising and intensifying vibrating sound "wuvuvuvuvuvu" suddenly comes from above somewhere above the bumpy marsh or flood meadow. After some time, a different character will be heard - a leisurely and rhythmic "teke-teke-teke-teke.". This is the voice of a snipe in the air. The first sound, similar to the bleating of a goat, occurs when the tail feathers and wings vibrate, when the snipe, having made a circle in the air, begins to decline sharply, as if falling into an air hole.

Fig. 44. Silhouette of a woodcock on a plaster (fig. A. Formozova)

The so-called woodcock traction is well known not only to every hunter. She was repeatedly described in classical, Russian literature, both in prose and in verse. It is most vividly depicted by A. K. Tolstoy in the poem “On the Fork”. After sunset, the woodcock males singly begin to fly low over the trees among the damp low forest or at the forest edges, making soft sounds, like horkan and twister. Part of the birds flying over the forest can not be seen. They hide the crowns of trees. Only their voices are heard - a low, unhurried "choir-choir-choir" (2-4 times) and immediately after the last syllable a short and high sound "tzvir", similar to the chirping of a white wagtail. The whole song sounds like "choir-choir-choir-tzvir". Finally, a woodcock appears on the background of a dull sky. Usually only his silhouette is visible. It is a long-billed bird the size of a pigeon, but with a short tail. It flies rather quickly, although the flapping of wings seems slow.

Voices in the pine forest. For a more complete acquaintance with the nightly voices of birds, it is important that the route of the excursion, in addition to the river floodplain, also captures a section of pine forest bordering logging. Here on the edge at night, and sometimes during the day, very pleasant iridescent sounds are heard, varying in tone and rhythm. They come from above. The song consists of quickly repeating syllables "Yuli-Yuli-Yuli-Lulilulilulilulili". It sings a forest lark, or yule. He, like other larks, sings in the air, flying high above the forest and cutting down.

Fig. 45. Nestling eared owl (photo by Y. Pukinsky)

Broods of young eared owls that have left their nests can be caught in a pine forest. At first their mournful roll call is heard. Councils shout in turns, one after the other. Their voices are not the same, since owls hatch at long intervals and therefore are of different ages. Roll call goes in different pitch. One nestling whistles "ai" high and long, the other pulls "uh", the third - "yy". The first usually shouts the smallest, since he is the most hungry. He echoes the rest. Chicks remind parents of themselves, demanding feed. In general, the voices of an eared owl chick are similar to those of hungry kittens. If you come close, sometimes it is possible to detect the owls themselves. When they see a person, they fall silent and are drawn out in a fright by a column, narrowing their eyes and lifting their "ears" up.

Fig. 46. ​​Silhouette of a nightjaw on a white night in a pine forest (photo by L. Malchevsky)

But on the background of the whitish sky a silhouette of a narrow-winged and long-tailed bird the size of a cuckoo appears. Its flight is silent, easy and maneuverable. The rapid throws are replaced by sudden stops and fluttering of the wings in one place. By issuing several piercing cries of "PEC, PEC", the bird is hidden from sight. This nightjar is a night bird that feeds on insects that it catches on the fly. After some time, her song comes from the forest - a long rumble of "errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.". From a distance it resembles the noise of a running motorcycle. Sings a nightjar sitting on a pine branch. He pulls his deaf trill very long, now raising, then lowering his voice. His throat is very swollen, his mouth is open. Finally, the nightjar flies off the tree, its rumbling turns into a very low scream. Several times, slamming his wings over his back, he flies to the side, sits on another tree he is used to and starts his song again.

Throughout the short, bright night, occasionally their voices and day birds - cuckoo, redstart, chargie, belobrovik, song thrush. At dawn, at about three o'clock, the activity of their singing increases dramatically. With the new energy begins to sing the nightingale. All the birds we have just listened to continue to overflow. There is a common chorus of night and day birds. It is surprisingly good and gives a special charm to the nature of the northern latitudes. Unfortunately, people rarely have to listen to him. They wake up much later.