Animals and birds of the arctic deserts
The northernmost natural zone of the planet is the Arctic desert, which is located in the latitudes of the Arctic. The territory here is almost completely covered with glaciers and snow, sometimes fragments of stones are found. Here most of the time winter reigns with frosts of.50 degrees Celsius and below. There is no change of seasons, although during the polar day there is a short summer, and the temperature during this period reaches zero degrees, without rising above this value. In the summer it can rain with snow, there are dense fogs. There is also a very poor flora.
Due to such weather conditions, animals of the Arctic latitudes have a high level of adaptation to this environment, so they are able to survive in harsh climatic conditions.
Adapting animals to the arctic climate
All of the above species of animals and birds have adapted to life in the arctic climate. They have developed special adaptive capabilities. The main problem here is keeping warm, so in order to survive, animals must regulate their temperature regime. Bears and Arctic foxes have thick fur for this. This protects the animals from severe frost. Polar birds have loose plumage that fits tightly to the body. In seals and some marine animals, a fatty layer forms inside the body, which protects from the cold. Protective mechanisms in animals are especially active when winter approaches, when frosts reach an absolute minimum. To protect themselves from predators, some representatives of the fauna change the color of their fur. This allows some species of the animal world to hide from enemies, while others can successfully hunt in order to feed their offspring.
What animals can be found in the Arctic?
Among the cetaceans in the Arctic desert zone, there is a narwhal, which has a long horn, and its relative, the bowhead whale. Also, there are populations of polar dolphins. belugas, large animals that feed on fish. Even in the arctic deserts, there are killer whales hunting various northern animals.
There are numerous populations of seals in the Arctic desert, including harp seals, mobile ringed seals, large sea hares. seals, 2.5 meters in height. Even in the vastness of the Arctic, you can find walruses. predators that hunt smaller animals.
Among the land animals in the arctic desert zone, polar bears live. In this area, they are excellent at hunting both on land and in water, as they dive and swim well, which allows them to feed on marine animals.
Another severe predator is the arctic wolf, which does not occur singly in this area, but lives in a pack.
Such a small animal as arctic fox lives here, which has to move a lot. Lemming can be found among rodents. And, of course, there are large populations of reindeer here.
What birds live in arctic deserts?
Birds are the most numerous representatives of the fauna that live in the arctic desert zone. There are large populations of rose gulls and guillemots, which feel comfortable in the Arctic. The northern duck is also found here. the common eider. The largest bird is the northern owl, which hunts not only other birds, but small animals and young large animals.
The most amazing inhabitants of the Arctic
According to many people, the most amazing animal in the Arctic is the narwhal. This is a huge mammal that weighs 1.5 tons. Its length is up to 5 meters. This animal has a long horn in its mouth, but in fact it is a tooth that does not play any role in life.
In the reservoirs of the Arctic there is a polar dolphin. beluga. He only eats fish. Here you can also meet the killer whale, which is a dangerous predator that does not neglect either fish or larger marine life. Seals live in the arctic desert zone. Their limbs are flippers. If on land they look awkward, then in the water the flippers help the animals to maneuver at high speed, hiding from enemies. Relatives of seals are walruses. They also live on land and in water.
The nature of the Arctic is amazing, but due to the harsh climatic conditions, not all people want to join this world.
In another way, he is also called the deadly hunter. This creature is really very dangerous for humans and brings death or paralysis with it. The body of a scorpion reaches from 8 to 13 cm. Males are usually smaller than females.
They weigh 2-3 g. Their decoration is a long, slightly thickened and raised tail. The insect feeds on zofobas, spiders and cockroaches. They are more fastidious in food than all their steel relatives.
For dwellings, they choose areas under stones and small gorges. They live without problems in sandy holes dug out by themselves. From a yellow scorpion bite, small insects die immediately, and a person has cerebral edema or paralysis. This property of insect poisons has recently increasingly begun to help in the treatment of cancer.
This miniature animal has long attracted people’s attention. It is smaller than the average cat. Such a fox weighs up to 1.5 kg, with a body length of no more than 40 cm. Its distinctive feature is its large ears and the same rather big tail. Large and expressive eyes stand out on the sharp muzzle of the animal. It is thanks to them that the fox becomes even cuter than it is.
Fenecs are very active and playful. With the amazing dexterity of cats, they know how to jump on high objects. They can bark, whine, snort and grumble. They feed on animal food, consisting of meat, fish, eggs. Also, the diet of these foxes includes vegetables and fruits.
Fenech prefers to hunt in splendid isolation and at night. In the daytime, it hides in its own dug hole. Sometimes the territory of such underground labyrinths is so large that several families of foxes can fit in them.
This social animal tolerates lack of water without problems. They compensate for it with the help of moisture contained in food. Animals communicate with each other using unique sounds inherent only to them.
In the photo a fennec fox
The constitution of camels strongly resembles that of ungulates. For this reason, people who do not know think that camels are cloven-hoofed. In fact, these animals do not have hooves.
There are two types of camels. one-humped and two-humped. Both animals are large enough. A one-humped dromedary camel, for example, weighs from 300 to 700 kg, its relative with two humps is slightly more. from 500 to 800 kg.
Their body protects animals from overheating. In this they are perfectly helped by wool, nostrils, and, of course, humps, which save camels from dehydration. These mammals have learned to fight both the night cold and the heat of the day.
Desert solyankas, thorny bushes and stunted trees are the habitat of desert ships. These are sedentary animals, but on their territory they are not used to being in place, the transitions are made regularly. Few people know, but the word camel itself is translated as “one that walks a lot”.
For pasture, they choose morning and evening hours. During the day they lie and chew gum. At night in the same places they arrange for themselves the night. These social animals prefer to live in groups of 5-8 individuals. Males dominate these groups. It happens that among the males there are seasoned lonely camels.
In food, animals are absolutely not picky. Bitter and salty grass, dry and thorny vegetation are used. If a camel comes across a watering hole, they drink willingly and in large quantities.
In order to protect his harem, the male spares no effort. A defensive reaction begins with the well-known camel spitting. If this warning signal does not work, then the camels converge in a duel. A defeated opponent has to flee. Enemies for these animals are wolves, lions and tigers.
For people, they are irreplaceable helpers. But don’t think of them as mindless animals. They have amazing intelligence, they have self-esteem.
Only with good treatment of themselves will they help and listen to their master in everything. Otherwise, you can expect anything from them. They can remember past grievances at the most inopportune moment and take revenge on the offender.
The polar bear is the brightest representative of the northern latitudes. It is the largest animal after elephants, giraffes and whales. The appearance of this white predator is not much different from the appearance of its brown relative. The body length of polar bears reaches up to 3 meters, and sometimes they weigh more than a ton.
The favorite habitat of polar bears is arctic deserts and tundra. This animal can survive such harsh winters due to the large accumulation of fat, which protects them from frost and the special structure of the wool cover. They walk smoothly, slowly and swinging from side to side.
They have no fear of humans. People are better off staying away from this giant. Animals prefer to lead a solitary lifestyle. Between themselves they live mostly amicably, but it happens that clashes arise between them, which most often occur during the mating season.
Bears swim and dive beautifully. It is in the water that they get their food. Their victims are walruses, seals, bearded seals, and seals. The victim is searched for with the help of a well-developed sense of smell.
These animals are thrifty. If they have an abundance of food, they will certainly hide it in reserve. Fathers have parental feelings absolutely not developed. They not only do not help in raising their babies, but sometimes they can even pose a threat to them.
They are the largest lizards in the world. Their size is sometimes compared to the size of crocodiles. For habitation, the banks of rivers, streams and other bodies of water are most often chosen. Most of their time is spent in the water.
Monitor lizards are excellent divers and swimmers. They feed on crabs, insects, snakes, frogs. Sometimes they have to travel more than one kilometer to find food for themselves. These predators are absolutely not picky about food. Some species of monitor lizards do not disdain and carrion.
Their bites are poisonous. Their large species have practically no enemies. Large monitor lizards can be attacked by snakes, birds of prey and crocodiles. They use their tail to protect themselves and bite the enemy painfully.
The eggs, meat and skin of monitor lizards are in great demand, so they are always hunted. Many of their species are currently listed in the Red Book.
In the photo lizard
This representative of dung beetles is listed in the Red Book. The beetle is black in color, small in body length. 4 cm, it is smooth to the touch and convex. The male tibia differs slightly from the female tibia due to the fringe of golden hairs. Scarabs live on seashores and sandy soil.
Their food is cattle manure. They can store this manure for future use, rolling it into balls sometimes even more than the beetle itself. They do not live long, about two years.
In ancient Egypt, this beetle is sacred. It is believed that the talisman with his image brings women eternal youth, and helps men make good money.
Sacred scarab beetle
This is the name of the lone predators who howl at the moon and are the symbolic animals of the American Wild West. They are not always alone. There have been cases of coyotes hunting in flocks.
The length of the animal is from 75 to 100 cm, its weight is from 7 to 20 kg. They show their activity at night. They know how to adapt to any environment. They feed mainly on small mammals, carrion, deer and sheep. As soon as dusk falls, coyotes go in search of prey for themselves.
As far as coyotes and humans are concerned, it was humans that caused their spread. The rivals of coyotes are wolves, which people have recently begun to massively destroy.
Thus, it was people who created favorable conditions for expanding the range of coyotes. Their fur is highly prized in the fur industry, so these wild predators are always hunted.
These animals are an immediate, direct threat to farm animals, they are very fond of sheep. For this they have earned great dislike among the farmers.
But all attempts to destroy them do not bring much success because coyotes have discernment, amazing intelligence and cunning. They easily avoid traps, avoiding bullets and various lures. The burrows of these animals are in caves, rock crevices, in tree hollows.
This majestic animal is the largest and largest of all felines. The length of an adult male animal can reach up to 3.5 m, and its weight is 315 kg. A hungry tiger can eat anything that catches his eye.
Deer, wild boars, bears, monkeys, buffaloes, lynxes, snakes, frogs and many other inhabitants of deserts and semi-deserts are used. A hungry tiger can attack a leopard, a crocodile and even its blood brother. the same tiger. There were times when tigers became cannibals.
Animals prefer to hunt in elephant grass and bushes at dusk. It is there that they become unobtrusive. They prefer to lead a solitary lifestyle, although there are times when the tiger hunts with his lady of the heart.
Many cats don’t like water. This cannot be said about tigers, they love to swim. These rather clean predators pay a lot of attention to their fur, which is usually thoroughly cleaned after a hearty meal.
This creature has long settled in the territory of deserts and semi-deserts. Its presence terrifies the indigenous people. The horned viper is scary to look at. Panicked by her horns over her eyes.
They are small in a reptile, but scary. From the poison of this creature comes a great danger to humans. In terms of its toxicity, it occupies one of the first places among poisonous snakes.
Often people, out of their ignorance, confuse this viper with a horned tree. In fact, although they are relatives, they have many differences between themselves. The body length of the horned viper reaches 66-70 cm. The body is massive and thick. The word “skinny” is not suitable for this person. On the body of the viper, scales of yellow and olive color.
For movement, she uses a side course. It tolerates temperature extremes and waterlessness. Only for the time of breeding is he looking for places near which there are reservoirs.
This reptile prefers to live alone. An exception is the mating season. She is awake at night. During the day, he mostly sleeps or bask in the sun. Sometimes buries itself in the sand or takes refuge in rocks.
In case of possible danger, she does not flee, but attacks. It feeds on birds, reptiles, rodents and other small prey. First, the viper attacks the victim, injects its poison into it, then swallows the already immovable body.
In the photo is a horned viper
Any animal can envy her agility and endurance. They can reach astonishing speeds. up to 100 km / h, slim and small in size. With a body length of 90-110 cm, gazelles weigh 15-20 kg. The heads of both genders are adorned with beautiful lyre horns.
These animals are better than all steel living creatures of deserts and semi-deserts adapted to life in difficult conditions. They practically do not drink water, which is constantly lacking in those places. They get moisture from plants. Eating grass, shoots and flowers.
Gazelles have an amazing ability to survive in the highest temperatures. If it’s too hot, they peak in the morning or evening. At the slightest danger, you can hear sounds from the noses of these animals, reminiscent of a duck quack. Yes, these sounds are not produced by the usual mouth for everyone, but by the nose of the animal.
Gazelles create families and graze in herds of up to 100 individuals. They should beware of their worst enemies. lions, cheetahs, hyenas and pythons.
There is the following classification of seabirds:
- Petrel-like. They include 93 species, among which there are pelagic and oceanic. These include albatrosses, storm petrels, and common and diving petrels.
- Pelicans. There are 57 species. Among them are cormorants, boobies, phaeton and frigates. They also include representatives of pelican.
- Penguins living in the Southern Hemisphere and Antarctica. There are 16 types.
- Charadriiformes have 305 species. Among them are water-cutters, terns, skuas, gulls and auks.
Cormorant is a bird with a special structure of feathers
All marine species, except for cormorants and certain varieties of terns, have plumage saturated with a layer of fat. This water-repellent property provides reliable protection from getting wet, and the dense down ensures a constant body temperature even in cold water. Cormorant is a bird that has an advantage over its other relatives in the special structure of its feathers. This allows him not to freeze even if he has to dive a lot and for a long time. The greater specific gravity provides this bird with the possibility of a long stay under water.
Almost all members of the family of seabirds have a plumage color of black, gray or white tones. However, there are birds with brighter and more variegated colors. For example, a penguin. This is a bird, some species of which are the owners of multi-colored plumage in the neck and chest area. Color is very important in the wild. Its main function is camouflage, that is, the ability to blend in with the colors of a certain area. This allows not only birds, but also all animals to hide from the attack of a predator or not give themselves away on the hunt for prey.
Penguin. This is the bird that scientists say is the most socialized. Their colonies have a huge number of individuals. They spend most of their life cycle in water. Penguins go on land only to conceive and raise offspring. The peculiarities of their structure allow these representatives of the bird family to survive in extremely low temperatures. Dense, straight plumage creates a powerful barrier to cold.
The heavy bones and wings that act as fins make penguins playful swimmers who can dive very deeply. The streamlined shape of the body helps them to excellently dissect water spaces, and in case of danger. to deftly escape from the predator. Their feathers do not get wet and effectively retain heat due to the constant treatment with fat secreted by the gland in the tail area. All species, except for the emperor penguin, breed. They settle in rocks, preparing a place for future offspring from stones and earthy breasts. Those who do not need nests place their eggs under the skin sac. The chick is also there for the first time after birth. In a pair, the female and the male incubate the egg in turn.
Hatchets and guillemots
The northern seabird is a regular in the traditional numerous bird markets. Hatchets and guillemots are considered champions among those who are able to gather in such a densely populated area. Thanks to their short wings, they perfectly submerge in water, providing themselves with food. These representatives can be called the most adapted to sea waters. Their chicks, which still cannot fly, fall from nests in rocky terrain right into the waves.
This is where they are fed and further grown. Many, of course, die in this case, crashing against the rocky terrain. When the cold weather approaches, all the inhabitants of the colonies fly away into the endless expanses of water. Some of the seabirds are migratory. They wait out the cold in warmer regions, then return home. Others are nomadic. Many seabirds fly long distances, sometimes changing latitude, and only in a circle can they reach the place of birth. Sometimes the entire life cycle is not enough for such a route.
Seabird family: description
These birds, in comparison with their other counterparts belonging to other groups, are considered centenarians. In general, their life cycle has a slightly shifted time frame. For example, representatives of the marine group steam and reproduce much later than their colleagues. During the entire cycle, they have a smaller number of chicks, but they devote relatively more time to their offspring. Life expectancy is also significantly increased. Seabirds usually nest in numerous colonies. Some of them live permanently in one area, others can migrate every year over considerable distances, and some even make air travel around the entire Earth.
There are species that spend almost their entire life cycle away from the coast, in the endless waters of the oceans. And their brothers settle only on land, setting off to drift on the waves just for the sake of prey. However, in addition to two such opposite types, there is also a third. Its representatives spend part of the time in the coastal zone, and the other in the waters of the seas and oceans.
As you might expect, the world of birds has not been without human intervention. People often used birds as a food source. And for seasoned fishermen and experienced sailors, they served as a reference point. Of course, human activity does not go unnoticed, and now many species are on the verge of extinction. Unfortunately, some exist only on the pages of the Red Book.
Webbed feet and sense of smell
Almost all seabirds have webbed feet, which greatly facilitates their movement in the water. But these are not all the advantages of the structure. For example, many petrels have a highly developed sense of smell. Thanks to this, they can accurately determine the location of prey in the endless expanses of the ocean.
Seabirds: names, descriptions and photos
Thousands, maybe even more, years ago, seabirds separated from the total huge number of birds living on land. Their names are very diverse and depend on belonging to a particular order or family.
Birds and their structure
Experts with a baggage of knowledge about the characteristics of a particular species can easily determine how its representatives eat, how they hunt and in what area they live. The shape and length of the wings are of great importance. So, representatives of birds, which have a small span, belong to the diving species. Whereas birds with long wings most often live in deep ocean areas. For example, the wandering albatross is a bird that travels countless kilometers in the hope of feasting on. However, representatives of this species waste their ability to make long-distance flights over time. Many of them have already chosen bays or piers where fishing boats often dock.
Everything in nature tends to adapt to convenience. Why fly into endless expanses of water when food is so available on the shore? Albatross is a bird that, in the course of evolution, even slightly changed the structure of its wings. Now these beauties often do not use the technique of active flight, but have switched to dynamic or oblique soaring. That is, albatrosses simply catch the currents of air masses and maneuver.
The African eagle owl is a bird from the Owl family, which is also called the Spotted Owl. The bird is small: length up to 45 cm, weight from 480 to 850 g. With such a modest size, its wingspan reaches a meter. It is a nocturnal predator. It preys on bats, insects and small birds and mammals.
Interesting features of African (spotted) eagle owls:
The African eagle owl is very good at camouflaging its environment. Usually its plumage is gray-brown and merges with the branches of trees, but in arid regions the birds are chestnut brown with orange eyes. With this color, they are difficult to see against the background of sand and dried grass.
African eagle owls mate for life. The couple builds a nest on the ground, hidden among rocks, grass and bushes. Good nests are used repeatedly, often even for several years in a row.
African eagle owls not only dive from a height while hunting, but can catch prey right in the air.
The African ostrich is the only member of the Ostrich family. This is the largest modern bird: up to 270 cm high and weighing up to 156 kg. Ostriches do not fly: they are ratites, so they lack the muscles needed to fly. The scientific name of the ostrich, translated from Greek, means “camel-sparrow”. The plumage is loose and slightly curly, gray-black and white. The head, neck and hips are not feathered. They feed on different parts of plants, but also eat insects, reptiles, rodents.
Interesting features of ostriches:
In case of danger, ostriches flee. They run at speeds up to 60-70 km / h, with a step of 3.5-4 meters. To confuse the pursuer, they dodge without slowing down. Monthly ostriches can already reach speeds of up to 50 km / h.
Ostriches have no teeth. To grind food, they swallow pebbles. In today’s reality, in addition to pebbles, they swallow pieces of plastic, wood, iron and even nails.
Ostriches get their moisture from the plants they eat. But if they manage to find a reservoir, then they not only drink, but also swim.
In the absence of reservoirs, ostriches “bathe” in the sand. This is how they clean the feathers.
Ostriches have a bare patch of corn on their chest, which they lean on when they lie down.
An adult ostrich is a strong bird. The male can carry a human without any problems. In the late 19th. early 20th centuries, ostriches were harnessed.
Birds of the desert: who lives in the Sahara
The Sahara Desert is one third of the entire continent of Africa. The desert area is very large, and despite the harsh climate, there are many amazing inhabitants here. Wonderful World has made a selection of the most interesting birds of the Sahara. be surprised with us.
The secretary bird is a bird of the order Hawk-like, the only species in the secretary bird family. The bird owes its funny name to the black feathers on the top of the head: they look like goose feathers that secretaries used to write. Secretaries used these feathers in their wigs so as not to lose.
The bird is quite large: 125-155 cm long, weighing up to 4 kg. The wingspan of secretary birds is about 210 cm. The plumage on the neck and belly is gray, closer to the tail it becomes black. The plumage is absent around the eyes and beak, the skin is orange. Predators, feed mainly on snakes, as well as small amphibians, insects, small mammals and birds.
Interesting features of secretary birds:
They spend most of their time on the ground, which is not very common for birds of prey. They move quickly on the ground.
Secretaries are “wandering” birds. They constantly move in search of food from one territory to another.
With rare exceptions, secretaries remain loyal to their chosen partner for life. Birds move away from each other only within their line of sight.
During the fight against the snake, the secretary uses one wing as a shield: spreads it and repels the attack.
Secretaries’ chicks jump out of their nests to test their flying skills. If it failed to fly and the chick cannot return to the nest, the parents feed it on the ground.
The secretary bird in Africa is considered a noble creature. These birds are depicted on the coats of arms of South Africa and Sudan.
The common barn owl is the most common bird of the Barn owl family. This is a small bird: 33-39 cm in size, weighing from 187 to 700 grams. The color is white with ocher and small dark spots. Predators, hunt at night. They feed mainly on small rodents, as well as small birds, sometimes catches insects and frogs.
Interesting features of common barn owls:
The ears of the barn owls are located on the sides, but asymmetrically: the left at the level of the forehead, the right at the level of the nostrils. This allows them to hear a lot of sounds, perceiving them from different angles.
Barn owls look like owls, but clearly differ in the facial disc: it has the shape of a heart.
Barn owls not only did not suffer from human economic activities to clear forests, but also benefited from it. Clearing forests has allowed them to spread over large areas.
Barn owls behave in a special way when a person approaches: they rise high and quietly sway on their feet, writhing grimaces. But people are not allowed close.
Guinea fowl is a bird from the Guinea fowl family. Guinea fowls were domesticated, but wild inhabitants remained, in particular in the Sahara. These are small birds weighing about 1.5 kg. Guinea fowls have a bare head with small outgrowths, a fleshy crest and a hooked beak. Bare chest and purple neck. The plumage is gray-black with small white spots. They feed mainly on plants, but also eat snails and insects.
Interesting features of guinea fowl:
Wild guinea fowls differ from domesticated ones only in that they are smaller and lay eggs several times less often.
Guinea fowls have strong legs and run fast. Can run more than 20 km at a time.
Guinea fowls are flocking birds. In a flock of 20-30 individuals. In case of danger, the bird screams loudly, warning the others, and then runs away.
Guinea fowls move on the ground, but if necessary, they can fly up to 500 m.
Guinea fowls spend the night in the trees.
What unites these birds
than half of the species diversity of the Sahara is birds. Birds are well adapted to living in hot and arid climates:
They hunt at night when it is cooler in the desert;
Can travel long distances to get food;
Merge with the environment to be less visible to prey and other predators;
They can go without water for a long time.
This article was written for a Wonderful World.
Used information from open sources
Birds of the steppes and deserts of our vast country
Good afternoon, my reader. Today I will tell you what birds of the steppes and deserts live in the vastness of our vast country, where the main plain open landscapes are represented by steppes and deserts.
The steppes are characterized by a relatively flat relief, a soil cover such as chernozem, and highly developed herbaceous vegetation. In the steppe zone, in some places (south-west of Siberia) there are many lakes that significantly affect the composition of the animal world.
Steppe areas are found here not only in the mountains, but in the north they move to the forest-steppe zone, preserving the characteristic steppe fauna.
What birds live in the steppe
Adjacent to the forest-steppe, the steppe zone, which includes new territories of virgin plowing, stretches:
- To the Black Sea in the west;
- In the Ciscaucasia to the lower reaches of the Kuban. Krasnodar. the mouth of the Laba. Pyatigorsk. Grozny;
- On the Don to the line Nizhnechirsk. Grozny;
- On the right bank of the Volga. a little north of Dubovka;
- East of the Volga along the Saratov. Uralsk railway,
- Further to the upper Emba south of latitude 50 ° N;
- Bypasses Lake Teniz from the north,
- Again it descends to the south and passes south of Zaisan to Dzungaria.
After a break, the steppe meets:
- In Minusinsk district,
- And, finally, in Transbaikalia, along the Selenga, Onon and Aruni, which descend to the north to Lake Baikal.
The climate of the steppe zone is characterized by hot and prolonged, dry in the second half of the summer. At the end of summer, the vegetation, which is characterized by the predominance of grasses (feather grass), burns out. Sometimes winters are harsh here, the snow cover is dense, but not deep.
The lack of good shelters in winter and insufficient snow cover is reflected here in the majority of nesting birds, which fly away for the winter. But for the winter some inhabitants of the tundra arrive from the north:
- Buzzard buzzard,
- White Owl,
- Punochka and others.
Birds in the steppe zone are represented by species nesting and feeding on the ground. The fauna of the steppe zone is characterized by:
- Of the predators. the steppe eagle, steppe kestrel, harrier (steppe, meadow, partly field, in Transbaikalia. piebald),
- Chicken. gray partridge and quail;
- From sandgrouses. saja, belladonna crane, and in Transbaikalia. black crane;
- Great bustards. common bustard and little bustard;
- Sandpipers. tirkushki and merlin;
- Passerines. larks (small, white-winged, black, steppe, in Transbaikalia. Mongolian, horned lark);
- Steppe ridge, heaters, chases and others.
In the steppe zone, south-west of Siberia, as well as in Transbaikalia, there are many lakes, around which a huge number of different species of birds gather. All of them are usually associated with water and aquatic vegetation.
Here, like the rivers flowing along the steppe, live.
- Diverse ducks and waders, loons and herons, gulls and terns,
- Miscellaneous passerines. Reed Bunting and Remez Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Warblers,
- Toadstools. gray-cheeked crested grebe (black-necked and small),
- Black-throated Loon and Marsh Harrier.
The steppe fauna is also represented in some areas of the mountains, south of the steppe zone. For example, in Altai. in the Chui and Kurai steppes. These mountain steppes mainly have feather grass and fescue vegetation with a characteristic feathered fauna.
In the west, within our country, it reaches the Caspian Sea, where individual sections of deserts are also visible in the eastern Caucasus. This is a strip from the Caspian coast north of Makhachkala.
Zone of transition from steppe to desert
The desert zone in the north turns into the steppe region in the form of semi-desert landscapes, which are mainly in the nature of wormwood steppes, the fauna of which serves as a transition from steppe to desert.
Desert landscape. clay, gravelly or sandy soil. This type of deserts is characterized by a rather long dry and hot summer, where a closed cover of underdeveloped vegetation does not form, the development of which mainly occurs in a short spring period.
The general dryness of the climate is also characteristic here; scarcity of atmospheric precipitation and lack of reservoirs with fresh water, absence or development of snow cover in the cold season.
Desert vegetation is not represented by saltwort; cereals, wormwood and sedge. selin, bluegrass and others. Here, only small, low-growing shrub vegetation is characteristic. sandy acacia, and creeping branchy white kandym. In the desert there is black and white saxaul in some places forming a kind of desert forest.
In deserts, relatively favorable humidity conditions occur only in spring, after rains, for 1-1.5 months, the remaining 3-4 months of growing season proceed in drought conditions.
In the spring in the desert during the rainy season, ephemeral vegetation develops, which soon dries up.
In winter, the air temperature drops significantly, and in some deserts there are both negative and low positive temperatures. Annual temperature fluctuations are very significant here. Summer heat is somewhat mitigated by significant daily temperature fluctuations.
To assess the effect of temperature on the organic component, it is important to take into account the heating of the soil, since the temperature of the soil surface is higher than the air temperature.
This, of course, greatly increases the importance of underground shelters for both invertebrates and vertebrates, including birds of the desert. the kamenka.
What birds live in the desert
Shrub plants are also of great importance here, giving a weak shade, especially since even at a short distance from the ground, the temperature is much lower than on its surface. The suitability of sandy deserts for bird life is determined by the presence of shrub vegetation there.
Within the walls of wells, for example, doves, sparrows and owls nest and rest. Birds nest in the desert, as a rule, in shaded places, with the exception of terrestrial species nesting in early spring, such as larks. For the same reason, on hillocks, hills and in the ruins of birds.
- Golden eagle,
They usually choose the north side for nests.
Although not all desert birds drink water, and many, especially insectivorous animals, are content with water coming from food, as well as released during metabolism in the body.
Nevertheless, drinking water in desert conditions is of great importance. be it wells, lakes or temporary reservoirs formed in spring in salt marshes.
These favorite places always attract a variety of desert animals. It is characteristic that the birds that do not need to drink, which were mentioned above, still drink water willingly if possible.
The most typical desert fauna is expressed in the main nucleus of nesting birds, where among them there are the following predominant groups of birds.
- Passerines: saxaul jay and desert crow, saxaul and desert sparrow;
- Larks. steppe, small and gray, crested; big chat and small chat;
- Common warbler, desert warbler, desert warbler accentor;
- Great gray tit;
- Desert Gray Shrike;
- Kamenki. desert dancer;
- Woodpeckers include the white-winged spotted woodpecker;
- Of the nightjars. the dunky nightjar;
- From owls. desert owl;
- Among the predators. Buzzard Buzzard;
- Among waders. avdotka, Caspian and thick-billed plover, runner;
- From the bustard. wiggle;
- Finally, black-bellied and white-bellied sandgrouse. turtle and turtushka.
Some of these birds are limited in distribution only to the desert, but they are quite typical for it. Along the outlier rocks, partly on the ruins, other species also penetrate into the desert: golden eagle, kestrel and chuck.
Bird species such as.
- Sandgrouse, sparrows, prefer sandy areas of the desert,
- Others. black-bellied sandgrouse and avdotka, lesser lark, plovers and wobbly. clayey.
- Sandpipers and sand grouses, larks and wobbly. terrestrial;
- Others are characteristic of the scrub desert. sparrows and warblers, shrike, tit and turtledove, saxaul jay and desert crow.
This is in contrast to the forest-steppe and steppe, where the breeding period of birds is extended, in particular, the clutches of birds nesting on the ground often perish and birds rush again. Their fertility is low, as is the general activity of the organism in the desert.
Many desert bird species are characterized by a pale protective coloration, which developed, on the one hand, as an adaptation to poor natural protective conditions, and as a physiological consequence of a weak metabolic rate.
Among other features of desert birds, one can point to the structure of the limbs adapted to locomotion on loose sand (many have long tarsus and toes) and to protect the body from hot soil (thickening of the soles of the feet, relatively thick skin, dense and hard plumage).
Most desert birds are sedentary, as life in the desert is even easier in winter than in summer. The revitalization of life begins in early spring, and in summer, when organic life is especially intense in temperate latitudes, it stops here.
Some revival is observed in autumn, partly due to species flying from the north. In the middle of winter life freezes again.
The main features of the fauna of various deserts are similar, but in the north the world of birds is even poorer (however, there are few species not represented in the south, such as saja). The fauna of animals makes a greater difference in this respect.
And that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed my article about the birds of the steppes and deserts of our huge country, and it was interesting for you to read it.
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