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Birds of Central Siberia
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Hirundo rustica Linnaeus, 1758


Distribution of a species in the Central Siberia

The Swallow is a widespread species in Eurasia, missing only from northern regions. In Central Siberia its range extends to the southern limits of the Krasnoyarsk Territory. While the species breeds only around human habitation in mountains, it may nest on abandoned buildings or other structures far from inhabited settlements in plains, steppes, and forest-steppes. The species breeds in large numbers virtually everywhere in southern Yenisey taiga north at least to 60° 10' N (Bursky and Vakhrushev 1983). The precise limits of the species' northern distribution are not quite clear. Whether it nests in the mid taiga subzone has also not been clarified; however, individuals have been found irregularly in summer in the villages of Vorogovo and Zotino (61° N) (Rogacheva et al. 1978). The Swallow appears regularly in Mimoye in early spring (between May 18 and June 4, on May 28 on average). It also appears in Mirnoye almost every year during the breeding season: on June 23, 1981; on June 20, 1982; on June 27,1987; while on June 15, 1984, a pair spent an entire day near the station. On June 28, 1984, one individual was seen in the bog near the mouth of the Malaya Varlamovka River — 25 km from the Yenisey. In 1981, Swallows were observed twice in Mimoye during autumn migration: once in a flock of Sand Martins on July 23-24 and a single bird on August 1. It is worth noting that most of the years mentioned above (1981, 1982, and 1984) correspond to the earliest springs within the last decade.

Non-breeding Swallows penetrate far into the north. In one 10-year period, Swallows were twice recorded in the village of Selivanikha near Turukhansk at 65°30' N (Tugarinov and Buturlin 1911). Shukhov (1915) provides a reference for the Turukhansk Territory at 66° N. Strays to the Taymyr tundra are not a rarity. Five separate birds, always appearing on clear, warm and windless days (Matyushenkov 1983), were recorded mainly in early spring in the far northern region of the Bikada River basin (74°- 75° N): one on June 5, 1978; two, one of which was ringed, on June 29, 1979; one in the last third of June 1980, and one at the end of July, 1981. The ornithological collection of the Zoological Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences includes Swallows collected at Cape Chelyuskin and on Chetyryokhstolbovoy Island. Spring snowstorms are known to have carried unspecified swallow species as far as Sterlegov Cape and to the Peter Chichagov Coast (Vronsky 1986). I. I. Chupin (1987) reported Swallows from the Ary-Mas Reserve (a unit of the Taymyr Reserve at 72°30' N) observed on July 8 and 10 in 1983, as well as in July in 1982.


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