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Old 02-12-2010, 07:20 PM
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Siberia Siberia is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Russian Federation
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Default Re: Black Saker from China

In general dark Sakers are more common in the Altay region than in the other parts of areal.From what I have seen myself the darkest birds are from the Ukok plateau on the western part of the boundary of Russia and Mongolia and Xinjiang province of China /my observations are from the Mongolian Chinese boundary area/.Dark Sakers are common in some valleys of the Russain part of the Altay mountain.In general with the movement from East to West and from stepps to the highlands of the Altay mountain the birds become more darker colored and larger in size.In central Altay mountain where the climate,relief,vegitation,etc. are almost identical to the ones beyond the arctic circle these large falcons that are closer in shape,fly pattern,coloration to the Gyrs start to appear.They are not only different in color.But they fly,hunt,expose gyr's breeding display characteristics,vocalize in a different way from the normal Sakers.So,what Turumti posted here is 100 % true.But there are not many birds like this.I think the overall number of the breeding pairs of such falcons in Russia we know /though even we the professional ornitologists are not sharing all details with each other )) / hardly exceed 50.
The exact subsp.of the Altay Saker could be determined with a certainty of about 75 % after the first moult.The rest 25 % of the population expose mixed features.
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