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of ornithologists.

The case of the Crows and the Goldfinches, where the
extreme forms interbreed, is exceptional. The case of the
Shrikes and the Dippers, where each extreme form inter-
breeds with an intermediate form, may also be exceptional;
but the cases where the individuals of each valley interbreed
with their immediate neighbours, and where the range is
great enough to make the sum of a series of small differences
show a large difference in the extremes, is by no means un-
common. What I wish to emphasize is the fact that all
these are cases of interbreeding, the difference in the three
modifications of interbreeding which I have cited being one
of degree and not of kind.

XLI. Notes on the Birds of the Province of Constantine,
Algeria. By CHARLES DIXON.

(Plate XIV.)

THE following notes refer to the birds either identified or
collected during a short trip to Biskra and the Aures moun-
tains made in company with Mr. Elwes. Considering that
our stay was such a brief one, and that travelling took up at
least half of the month we were away from England, our
success was far beyond our highest expectations. Amongst
our captures were a dozen specimens of the rare little Algerian
Coal Titmouse, Parus ledoucii ; specimens of Saxicola lugens
with the sex carefully ascertained, settling the much-vexed
question as to the difference of plumage in the sexes of this
bird; several examples of Emberiza Sahara ; Phylloscopus
bonelli ; a female in breeding-plumage of the rare Sylvia deser-
ticola ; and, last but not least, we secured two specimens of
a hitherto undescribed Chat.



THE IBIS,



FIFTH SERIES.



No. I. JANUARY 1883.



I. Notes on the Birds of the Caucasus*
By HENRY SEEBOHM, F.Z.S.

IN 1880, Modeste Bogdanow, the Ornithological Curator of
the Museum of the Imperial Academy of Art and Science in
St. Petersburg, published an important work on the Birds
of the Caucasus, containing not only the results of his own
travels in that district, but also a resume of all the reliable
information on the subject to be found in the works of pre-
vious writers. Unfortunately his valuable book is written
in the Russian language. I have had a translation made of
it; and when I was at St. Petersburg M. Bogdanow was kind
enough to show me the skins of all the most interesting
examples of Caucasian birds in the Museum. I have thus
been able to prepare for the readers of ' The Ibis ' a digest
of this important addition to our knowledge of the geogra-
phical distribution of the birds of the Palaearctic region.

Bogdanow gives a list of sixty-nine books and papers in
various periodicals relating to the birds of the Caucasus. In
the last century the Caucasus was visited by Giildenstadt
in 1770-73, by J. G. Gmelin in 1770-74, and by Pallas in

SEll. V. VOL. I. B



2 Mr. H. Seebohm on the

1793; but the information recorded by these travellers is
very meagre, and their determination of species not very
reliable. In 1825 Eichwald visited the Caucasus; but in
Bogdanow's opinion his ornithological work is of no value
whatever. Menetries was the first naturalist whose con-
tributions to the ornithology of the Caucasus, founded upon
his journey in 1829-30, were of great importance. In 1830
Eversmann was in the Caucasus but was obliged to leave
before he had made many observations, in consequence of an
outbreak of cholera. Ornithological observations of some
value were made in 1835-37 by Krinitzky ; but, in conse-
quence of his death in the Caucasus, the results of his journey
were published by Kaleniczenko. In 1836 Nordmann visited
the Caucasus, and in 1843 Kolenati; but the observations of
the latter are of little value. In 1862 Filippi made some im-
portant observations in the Caucasus on his way to Persia :
and since 1863 Radde has been engaged in forming a collec-
tion of the birds of the Caucasus in Tiflis; but his long-
promised work on the subject has not yet appeared. In 1871
Bogdanow himself w-ent to the Caucasus ; in 1875 his labours
were supplemented by Kessler : and in 1878 important addi-
tions to and confirmations of previous observations were made
by Michailovsky, a zealous young ornithologist, whose ac-
quaintance I had the pleasure of making in St. Petersburg
last spring. It is much to be regretted that Bogdanow's excel-
lent book is not written in a language in which it would be
accessible to most ornithologists. Such a careful work, and
such an exhaustive treatment of the subject, would serve as an
excellent model for some of our more superficial writers.

GYPAETUS BARBATUS.

This bird is a not uncommon resident throughout the
Caucasus above the limit of forest-growth. A female,
caught in a fox-trap early in January, contained an egg
nearly developed.

VULTUR MONACHUS.

The Black Vulture is rare throughout the mountains above
the limit of forest-growth, descending into the plains in
autumn.



Birds of the Caucasus. 3

VULTUR FULVUS.

The Griffon Vulture is very common above the limit of
forest-growth, and is also frequently seen in the plains at all
seasons of the year, generally in flocks.

VULTUR PERCNOPTERUS.

The Egyptian Vulture is more solitary in its habits, but
is not less common and is more generally distributed than the
preceding species, extending its flight in search of food to a
great distance from the mountains where it breeds.

HALIAETUS ALBICILLA.

The White-tailed Eagle is very common in the plains, but
does not visit the mountains. In winter their numbers are
increased by migrants from the north.

HALIAETUS LEUCORYPHUS.

Pallas's Sea-Eagle was once seen by Bogdanow at the end
of September in the delta of the Terek.

PANDION HALIAETUS.

The Osprey breeds in the valleys of the Terek, Kuban,
Rion, Kur, and Arax, but is supposed to migrate south-
wards in winter.

AQUILA CHRYSAETUS.

The Golden Eagle is said to be only an occasional winter
visitor to the Caucasus ; but Nordmann describes it as com-
mon in the west.

AQUILA IMPERIALIS.

The Imperial Eagle breeds in the forests, in the plains, in
the valley of the Terek, Kuban, Arax, &c. It is not known
to winter there.

AQUILA ORIENTALIS.

The Steppe-Eagle breeds on the steppes near the Terek
river and in the government of Stavropolsk. On the 1st of
September Bogdanow saw a flock of more than 300 of this
species on migration.

AQUILA CLANGA.

The Larger Spotted Eagle breeds in the mountain- valleys
of the northern slopes of the Caucasus.



4 Mr. H. Seebohm on the

FALCO LANAEIUS.

The Lanner Falcon is said by Bogdanow to be common in
the valleys of the Terek and the Kuban ; but the bird we
should expect to find in the Caucasus would be the Saker.

FALCO PEREGRINUS.

The Peregrine Falcon is recorded doubtfully from the
Caucasus.

FALCO SUBBUTEO.

The Hobby breeds in the lower forests and in the plains,
especially on the northern slopes. It is not known to winter
in the Caucasus.

FALCO JESALON.

The Merlin is said to pass through the Caucasus on migra-
tion in spring and autumn.

FALCO TINNUNCULUS.

The Kestrel is found throughout the region of the Cau-
casus, both in the plains and on the mountains. It is said
to be a resident.

FALCO CENCHRIS.

The Lesser Kestrel is very common in summer in the
plains on both sides of the Caucasus, and on the steppes as
high as 10,000 feet.

FALCO VESPERTINUS.

The Red-footed Falcon is not uncommon in the plains in
the government of Stavropolsk.

ACCIPITER PALUMBARIUS.

The Goshawk is common in the lower forests of the Cau-
casus.

ACCIPITER NISUS.

The Sparrow-Hawk is very common in the Caucasus below
he pine-region.

MILVUS ATER.

The Black Kite is very common throughout the Caucasus
below the steppes (10,000 feet) . It is not known to winter
there.



Birds of the Caucasus. 5

PERNTS APIVORUS.

The Honey- Buzzard is occasionally found in the Caucasus.

BUTEO MENETRIESL, Bogd.

This new Buzzard is a very rufous bird, with an un-
barred tail. It appears to be an intermediate form between
B. desertorum and B. ferox. It agrees with the rufous form
of both in colour and in the absence of bars on the tail, but
it is too small for the one and too large for the other. The
female measures 16 inches in length of wing, and the male
15 inches.

BUTEO VULGARIS.

The Common Buzzard is said only to pass through the
Caucasus on migration.

ClRCUS .ERUGINOSUS.

The Marsh-Harrier is very common in the valleys of the
Caucasus, but is not found on the mountains.

ClRCUS CYANEUS.

The Hen-Harrier is frequent on the steppes in the govern-
ment of Stavropolsk and in the plains.

ClRCUS STVAINSONI.

The Pallid Harrier is found in the government of Stavro-
polsk and in the valleys of the Terek and Kuban.

ClRCUS CINERACEUS.

Montagu's Harrier is common in the valleys of the Terek
and Kuban.

BUBO MAXIMUS.

The Great Horned Owl is found throughout the Caucasus,
both in the plains and on the mountains.



FLAMMEUS.

The Barn-Owl is doubtfully recorded from Colchis and
Georgia.

NOCTUA NOCTUA.

The Little Owl is very common on the northern side of
the Caucasus, both on the mountains and in the plains.



6 Mr. H. Seebohm on the

NoCTTJA PASSERINA.

The Passerine Owl is very doubtfully recorded from the
Caucasus.

STRIX ALUCO.

The Tawny Owl is found in the Caucasus.

STRIX OTUS.

The Long-eared Owl is found on the northern slopes of the
Caucasus, and has been obtained at Lenkoran.

STRIX BRACHYOTUS.

The Short-eared Owl is very common in the steppes and
valleys of the government of Stavropolsk and in other parts
of the Caucasus.

SCOPS SCOPS.

The Scops Owl is found in all the plains of the Caucasus.

CORVUS CORAX.

The Raven is found throughout the Caucasus.

CORVUS CORONE.

The Carrion-Crow breeds throughout the mountain-ranges
of the Caucasus.

CORVUS CORNIX.

The Hooded Crow breeds in the plains of the Caucasus.

CORVUS FRUGILEGUS.

The Rook is a resident in the plains of the Caucasus.

CORVUS MONEDULA.

The Jackdaw is common in the plains on the north of the
Caucasus.

PlCA CAUDATA.

The Magpie is common in the plains of the Caucasus.

PYRRHOCORAX GRACULUS.

The Chough breeds in the mountains of the Caucasus.

PYRRHOCORAX ALPINUS.

The Alpine Chough is found in the Caucasus.



Birds of the Caucasus. 7

GARRULUS KRYNICKI.

The Black-headed Jay is found throughout the lower forests
and plains of the Caucasus.

The Jay from the Caucasus must of course bear the name
G. krynicki, which was originally applied by Kaleniczenko to
a specimen obtained at Georgievsk. It is, however, more
nearly allied to the Palestine bird, G. atricapillus, than to
the extreme form from Asia Minor. I have a series of skins
collected by Danford in the latter country bridging over the
distance between these two Jays, which proves them to be
conspecific. Besides a skin from Kutais, collected by
Michailovsky, I have in my collection two skins from Len-
koran obtained from Herr Tancre*. These latter are very
different from the Kutais example, and are intermediate in
colour between the extreme form of G. krynicki and G. hyr-
canus, suggesting the idea that these forms are also con-
specific. The Lenkoran examples are scarcely to be distin-
guished from the extreme form of the Asia- Minor bird, ex-
cept that scarcely any of the feathers of the head are abso-
lutely black, and the general colour is that of the Persian
bird. It seems probable that all these local races of Jays
interbreed when they have an opportunity of doing so ; for
Bogdanow, in his ' Birds of the Volga/ p. 114, says that
many of the Jays in the provinces of Kazan and Simbirsk are
intermediate between G. glandarius and G. brandti, and pro-
poses for them the name of G. severtzowi. He says the
ground-colour of the head is a brick-brown.

The series of local races of the Trans-Caucasian Jays ap-
pears to be as follows :

G. atricapillus. A pale form, with a white forehead aud
throat, found in Turkey, Asia Minor, Palestine, Syria, West
Trans-Caucasia, and Persia.

[G. atricapillus, subsp. krynicki, was described from skins
obtained north of the Caucasus, and is said by Bogdanow to
be the same as the Trans-Caucasian bird.]

G. atricapillus , subsp. anatolice, is hitherto nameless. It
is much darker than the preceding, especially on the fore-
head and throat. It is the G. krynicki of Dresser, nee Kale-
niczenko, and appears to be confined to Asia Minor.



8 Mr. H. Seebohm on the

G. atricapillus, subsp. caspius, is still darker . than the
preceding, in fact as dark as G. hyrcanus, but differs from
that bird in having the feathers of the crown and nape
black, with very narrow vinous margins. Only known from
Lenkoran.

Ornithologists who have not yet brought themselves to use
the Americo-Linnsean system of nomenclature may fairly
admit four spacies of these Jays G. atricapillus, G. anatolia,
G. caspius, and G. hyrcanus.

STUENUS VULGARIS.

The Common Starling is abundant in the lower valleys.

?STURNUSPURPURASCENS (Sturnus nitens, Hume apudBogd.).

In my paper on the Ornithology of Siberia (' Ibis/ 1880,
p. 182), I thought I had finally disposed of the Starlings.
After examining a series from Moscow, the Caucasus, and
Turkestan, I am obliged to modify my views. The bird
described by Bogdanoff is certainly not the Sturnus nitens of
Hume, since the wing measures 5'1 inches. It is the S.
poltaratskii of Finsch, and the S. nobilior of Hume. I have
previously looked upon this variety as the Green-backed form
of S. purpurascens; but I am now inclined to consider it
more nearly allied to S. vulgaris, possibly a cross between
that species and S. purpurascens. It was found by Michai-
lovsky at Suram, between Kutais and Tiflis. In the Starlings
I do not find any two characters that are always constant.

PASTOR ROSEUS.

The Rose-coloured Pastor is very common in the plains.

PASSER DOMESTICUS-TNDICUS.

The Caucasian Sparrow is said by Bogdanow to be inter-
mediate between our Common Sparrow and the Common
Sparrow of India ; and he calls it Passer domesticus, subsp.
caucasicus. The inference I draw is that Passer domesticus
and Passer indicus are conspecific, and that between the two
extremes an infinite number of intermediate forms exist. It
is said only to be found where cultivation has been intro-
duced.



Birds of the Caucasus. 9

PASSER SALICARIUS.

The Spanish Sparrow is found at Lenkoran, but is doubt-
fully recorded from the Caucasus.

PASSER MONTANUS.

The Tree-Sparrow is common in many villages on the
Caucasus.

PASSER PETRONIA.

The Rock- Sparrow is found in suitable localities through-
out the Caucasus from the snow-line to the shores of the
Caspian.

FRINGILLA CCELEBS.

The Chaffinch is common in all the forests of the Caucasus.

FRINGILLA MONTIFRINGILLA.

The Brambling is occasionally found in the Caucasus, pro-
bably only on migration.

FRINGILLA COCCOTHRATJSTES.

The Hawfinch is occasionally found in the Caucasus.

FRINGILLA CHLORIS.

The Greenfinch, which is common throughout the Cau-
casus, is said by Bogdanow to be subsp. chlorotina, Licht.,
and to differ from the typical form in having a thicker bill
and in being of a brighter green-colour, with the under tail-
coverts pure yellow. A comparison with examples from
Turkestan would be necessary to form an opinion as to its
specific distinctness.

CARDUELIS ELEGANS.

The Goldfinch is very common in the lower forests and
plains.

SERINUS PUSILLUS.

The Red-fronted Finch is found throughout the steppes
and in the rhododendron-region, descending to the plains
only in winter.

CHRYSOMITRIS SPINUS.

The Siskin breeds in the pine- and rhododendron-regions.



10 Mr. H. Seebohm on the

LlNOTA BELLA.

The Asiatic Linnet is described by Bogdanow as common
both in the pine- and rhododendron-regions, as well as in the
plains. It only differs from the common Linnet in having
the upper parts unspotted and the red of the breast some-
what more scarlet.

LlNOTA CANNABINA.

The Linnet is a winter visitor to the Caucasus.

LlNOTA BREVIROSTRIS.

The Eastern Twite is found in the Caucasus. It has the
upper tail-coverts bright red. It is the L. erythropyga of
Bogdanow.

MONTIFRINGILLA ALPICOLA.

The Asiatic Snowfinch is found in the Caucasus only on
the mountain-steppes and in the rhododendron-region. In
June Bogdanow saw it in flocks. Dresser, in his ' Birds of
Europe/ does not recognize this species as distinct from M.
nivalis. It is, of course, the eastern form of our Snowfinch,
from which it is much more distinct than Picus pipra and
Farm camtchatkensis are from their western allies ; and it
seems scarcely just to admit specific distinctness for the
Woodpecker and the Tit whilst denying it to the Snowfinch.

PYRRHULA VULGARIS,

The Common Bullfinch breeds in the birch- and pine-
regions, wintering in the plains.

CARPODACUS ERYTHRINUS.

The Scarlet Grosbeak is common on the steppes and in
the plains.

CARPODACUS RUBICILLA.

The Caucasian Rose-Finch appears to be very rare in the
Caucasus.

LOXIA PITYOPSITTACUS.

The Parrot Crossbill is doubtfully recorded from the
Caucasus.



Birds of the Caucasus. 11

EMBERIZA MELANOCEPHALA.

The Black-headed Bunting is common both on the steppes
and in the plains.

EMBERIZA MILIARIA.

The Common Bunting is common both on the steppes and
in the plains.

EMBERIZA CITRINELLA.

The Yellow Bunting is commoner on the northern side of
the Caucasus than on the southern, ascending the mountains
to about 4000 feet.

EMBERIZA HORTULANA.

The Ortolan Bunting is confined to the plains.

EMBERIZA HUTTONI.

Hutton's Bunting was found by Filippi at Sabarak, in the
government of Erivan. His examples are in the Museum of
Turin.

EMBERIZA CIA.

The Meadow-Bunting frequents the mountains above the
limit of forest-growth to the limit of perpetual snow.

EMBERIZA SCHCENICLUS.

The Reed-Bunting passes through the Caucasus on mi-
gration.

EMBERIZA PYRRHULOIDES.

The Large-billed Reed-Bunting is found among the reeds
at the mouths of the Caucasian rivers.

OTOCORYS PENICILLATA.

The Eastern Shore-Lark is found on the steppes of the
Caucasus.

ALAUDA CRISTATA.

The Crested Lark is found almost exclusively on the plains,
rarely ascending to a height of 4000 feet in the mountain-
valleys.

ALAUDA ARBOREA.

The Wood-Lark is an autumn or winter visitor.



12 Mr. H. Seebohm on the

ALAUDA ARVENSIS.

The Sky-Lark is common on the plains. A large form is
called by Bogdanow Alauda arvensis, subsp. armenica. This
bird varies so much in size in every locality where it is found
that it seems unwise to make a subspecies on that character
alone.

CALANDRELLA BRACHYDACTYLA.

The Short-toed Lark is common on many of the steppes.

CALANDRELLA PISPOLETTA.

Pallas's Short-toed Lark has been found in the deserts
beyond the Caucasian range.

MELANOCORYPHA CALANDRA.

The Calandra Lark is found on many of the steppes.

MELANOCORYPHA BIMACULATA

The Eastern Calandra Lark was found by Menetries on
the Talischina Mountains, 6000 feet above the sea-level.

MELANOCORYPHA SIBIRICA.

The White-winged Lark was seen by Bogdanow on the
steppes near Stavropol.

MELANOCORYPHA TARTARICA.

The Black Lark winters in the Caucasus.

TURDUS VISCIVORUS.

The Missel-Thrush breeds in the forests.

TURDUS MUSICUS.

The Song-Thrush breeds in the Caucasus.

TURDUS ILIACUS.

The Redwing is said to winter in the Caucasus.

TURDUS PILARIS.

The Fieldfare winters in the Caucasus.

MERULA MERULA.

The Blackbird is a resident bird in the Caucasus. Bog-
danow saw it up to 5000 feet elevation.



Birds of the Caucasus. 13

MERTJLA TORQUATA.

The Ring-Ousel breeds in the rhododendron-region, and
almost up to the snow-line.

MONTICOLA SAXATILIS.

The Rock-Thrush is very rare in the Caucasus.

MONTICOLA CYANUS.

The Blue Rock-Thrush is found in the rocky districts.

ClNCLUS CASHMIRIENSIS.

The Dipper from the Caucasus appears to me to be Cinclus
cashmiriensis of Gould. The head, nape, and upper back
are sooty brown, shading into nearly black on the rest of the
upper parts, where each feather has a paler and greyer sub-
marginal band. The white throat somewhat suddenly shades
into brown in the centre of the breast, and below the breast
into very dark brown.

In the Caucasus this Dipper is common on the mountain-
streams as high as the steppes.

ORIOLUS GALBULA.

The Golden Oriole is common below the forest-line,

MUSCICAPA GRISOLA.

The Spotted Flycatcher is very common up to the rhodo-
dendron-region.

MUSCICAPA ATRICAPILLA.

The Pied Flycatcher is local in the Caucasus.

MUSCICAPA COLLARIS.

The White-collared Flycatcher is doubtfully recorded from
the Caucasus.

MUSCICAPA PARVA.

The Red-breasted Flycatcher is found throughout the Cau-
casus up to 6000 feet. *

LANIUS COLLURIO.

The Red-backed Shrike is very common in the Caucasus
up to 5000 feet.

LANIUS RUFUS.

The Wood chat- Shrike is very common on the shores of the
Black Sea in the region of the Caucasus.



14 Mr. H. Seebohm on the

LANIUS MINOR.

The Lesser Grey Shrike is very common in the Caucasus
up to 4000 feet.

LANIUS HOMEYERI.

This form of the Great Grey Shrike is occasionally found
in the Caucasus. It is an intermediate form between L. ex-
cubitor and L. leucopterus. It should bear the name of L.
excubitor-leucopterus, inasmuch as these two forms are con-
specific^ a complete series from the western to the eastern
form being found in the intermediate localities. The frontal
band is grey (being black in the former and white in the
latter forms). In L. excubitor the rump and upper tail-
coverts are grey. In the intermediate form the rump is white
and the upper tail-coverts are grey, whilst in L. leucopterus
both are white. The white at the base of both the primary
and secondary quills and at the base of the tail is considerably
more extended in the Caucasian bird than in L. excubitor,
and considerably less so than in L. leucopterus.

PARUS MAJOR.

The Great Tit is found throughout the Caucasus up to the
limit o forest-growth.

PARTIS PH^EONOTUS.

Blanford's Cole Tit is found at Lenkoran.

PARUS MICHAILOVSKII.

Michailovsky's Cole Tit is a new species described by Bog-
danow from skins obtained by Michailowsky on the pass of
Suram, the pass of Zacarsk, and Abas-Touman. Bogdanow
also saw it near Veden. It is an intermediate form between
P. phceonotus and P. ater ; and future researches will probably
prove that these two forms are conspecific. An example
measures wing 2'65 inches, tail 2, culmen -44, tarsus *7.
The upper parts are slate-grey, suffused with green, making
an olive-brown yellower than that of P. ph&onotus, and show-
ing the slate-grey when the plumage is disturbed. The under -
parts scarcely differ from those of P. ater.



Birds of the Caucasus. 15

PARUS CRISTATUS.

The Crested Tit is doubtfully recorded from the Caucasus.

PARUS C^RULEUS.

A Blue Tit is common on both sides of the Caucasus ; but
as no specimens were brought home, it is impossible to say
whether it is of the European or the Persian form.

PARUS BRANDTI.

Brandt's Tit is described as new by Bogdanow from a
single example much injured in shooting. The measure-
ments are wing 2*52 inches, tail 2*1, culmen *38, tarsus '64,
which agree with those of the Marsh-Tit. The colours are
also those of that bird, except that there is no black on the
throat. I take it to be a young female of P. palustris.

PARUS PALUSTRIS.

The Marsh-Tit is said by Menetries and by Nordmann to
be found in the Caucasus; but recent travellers have not con-
firmed this statement.

PARUS LUGUBRIS.

The Sombre Tit is recorded by Nordmann from the east
shore of the Black Sea ; but no examples from the Caucasus
are known in collections.

PARUS CAUDATUS.

The Long-tailed Tit is recorded from the Caucasus both
by Nordmann and Menetries ; but recent travellers have not
obtained it.

CALAMOPHILUS BIARMICUS.

The Bearded Tit has not yet been recorded from the Cau-
casus ; but Bogdanow observed it in the reeds in the delta of
the Terek.

^EGITHALUS CASPIUS, Pb'lzam, Proc. Kazan Nat. i. p. 141.
The Caspian Pendulous Tit appears to be very local in the
Caucasus. Bogdanow found it in the delta of the Terek.

SAXICOLA ISABELLINA.

The Isabelline Chat is common on the steppes of the
Caucasus.



16 Mr. H. Seebohm on the

SAXICOLA CENANTHE.

The Wheatear is not a rare bird in the Caucasus.

SAXICOLA MELANOLEUCA.

The eastern form of the Black-throated Chat was originally
described from the Caucasus, where, however, it is very rare.

SAXICOLA FINSCHI.

The Euphrates Pied Chat was obtained by Menetries in the
Caucasus.

SAXICOLA AURITA.

The Eared Chat is a very local bird in the Caucasus. Bog-


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