basic information

Great Reed Warbler

Acrocephalus arundinaceus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Дроздовидная камышевка | Шырылдауық айқабақ

© Viktor Kolesnikov


The Great Reed Warbler is much larger than other Reed Warblers (except the allied Clamorous Reed Warbler), larger than Sparrow. The upperparts are brownish-olive, underparts are whitish buffy tinged especially on the flanks. There is dark eye-strip; the supercilium is light and clear. Both sexes are similar. The autumn plumage differs insignificantly; the upperparts are rustier, underparts are more buffy. Juveniles are similar on adults; more rufous; the fresh non- stale primaries (as and the tail feathers) have broad rusty edges (adults have old edges). The wing form: 1st primary is tip, shorter than coverts; 2nd primary is about equal on 3rd (may be some shorter or longer) and longer than 4th; the top of wing is formed by 2-4th primaries. The outer web of 3rd primary is slightly narrowed. The tail is rounded, the outer tail feathers are shorter than central one on 8-11 mm. Weight 25-38 grams, lenght 19-21, wing 8,6-10,2, wingspan 25-30 cm.


The Great Reed Warbler nests on most parts of Kazakhstan territory. It is very distinctive the non- equable, sporadically distributions; alternation of the local breeding places with the large intervals. The detailed distribution in Kazakhstan please see in the chapter "Subspecies".


The Great Reed Warbler is common, in places abundant breeding migrant. It inhabits the tall reed-beds on the fresh and saltwater lakes, rivers, pounds. On migration it prefers the reed beds too, but also visits the shrub-thickets, gardens and rare the single trees in open country. It appears in mid-April – early May. It breeds in separate pairs on 15-50 m from each other. Nest is built by female only among the last-year reed stems at 15-50 cm from the water; from the dry reed leaves mixed with grass; and is lined with the vegetation fluff and reed panicles. Sometimes the nest's bottom is very thick. Clutches of 3-6 (usually 5) eggs is in second half of May – early July. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge at 12-14 days old, in end June – late August. Some explorers explain the very long nesting by the two seasonal broods, but it is not proved. Repeated breeding after the losing of the first nest (mostly through the Cuckoo's actions) is common. It eats mostly the insects living on the near-water plants. Also it catches invertebrates living in the most upper water level, even tadpoles, little frogs and little fishes. Autumn migration begins in the end of July, majority of the birds migrate in August, latest migrants recorded in the end of September.


Acrocephalus arundinaceus arundinaceus (Linnaeus, 1758)

    Description. The general color is darker; the upper parts are more reddish-brown, less olive than on zarudnyi. The buffy tinge on flanks and upper tail coverts is well expressed.
    Distribution. The occurrence in Western Kazakhstan on migration is possible.

Acrocephalus arundinaceus zarudnyi (Hartert, 1907)

    Description. The general color is lighter; the upper parts are more olive, less reddish-brown than on arundinaceus. The buffy tinge on flanks and upper tail coverts is slightly expressed.
    Distribution. Breeds in the most parts of plain Kazakhstan, in south to northern coast of Caspian Sea, lower of Syrdarya (from delta up to Chiili), Chushkakol lake (120 km on west from Chimkent), Stone lake (50 km to south from Biylikol lake) and on Sorbulak reservoir near Almaty. Occurs to south on migration.


Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. В.К.Рябицев. "Птицы Урала, Приуралья и Западной Сибири". Екатеринбург, Изд-во Уральского университета, 2000.



Acrocephalus arundinaceus arundinaceus
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Acrocephalus arundinaceus zarudnyi
(Hartert, 1907)

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Анна Ясько: Вроде черная крачка. Сбоку на груди темное пятно выделяется.


Андрей Коваленко: Да, наверное все же обыкновенная...


Ирина Рекуц: Спасибо, Игорь!

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