GUIDE TO BIRDS OF ARMENIA

Bluethroat

Adult male. Photo: E. Kavaliauskas

Latin name: Cyanecula svecica

Latin name: Cyanecula svecica

Family name: Old World Flycatchers 

Family name: Old World Flycatchers 

The Bluethroat is an inhabitant of subalpine meadows and steppes. It returns from the wintering places in April, but stays in lowlands, until the temperature at the uplands becomes warm enough to support insects – the main food of this species. The males immediately start singing to occupy the breeding territories and to attract females. For the purpose the males select prominent points such as distinct stones. Demonstration of the blue breast and rufous-colored tail supports the display. The pair puts the nest on the ground and while female incubates the eggs, the male takes attraction of the predators on himself. A pair finishes breeding in August and gradually departs from the breeding areas to lowlands and then to the south. 

The Bluethroat is an inhabitant of subalpine meadows and steppes. It returns from the wintering places in April, but stays in lowlands, until the temperature at the uplands becomes warm enough to support insects – the main food of this species. The males immediately start singing to occupy the breeding territories and to attract females. For the purpose the males select prominent points such as distinct stones. Demonstration of the blue breast and rufous-colored tail supports the display. The pair puts the nest on the ground and while female incubates the eggs, the male takes attraction of the predators on himself. A pair finishes breeding in August and gradually departs from the breeding areas to lowlands and then to the south.

Conservation status

The number of Bluethroats in Armenia is in moderate decline, which can be linked to the degradation of grasslands caused by overgrazing. To change the situation it is important to review the policy of nomadic grazing and to suggest sustainable schemes, which include rotation, weed suppression, giving a rest for the pasture, and regular planting legumes.

The number of Bluethroats in Armenia is in moderate decline, which can be linked to the degradation of grasslands caused by overgrazing. To change the situation it is important to review the policy of nomadic grazing and to suggest sustainable schemes, which include rotation, weed suppression, giving a rest for the pasture, and regular planting legumes.

More specific information about this species

Habitat

Main requirement for breeding sites are low dense vegetation with patches of open ground. Bluethroats occupy mountain steppe, meadows, and subalpine scrub with low woody cover at 1.900 - 2.400 m a.s.l.

 

Food & Feeding

Primarily invertebrates, chiefly insects, with some seeds and fruit in autumn. Insects include adult and larval beetles, ants, sawflies, flies, mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies, bugs, earwigs, grasshoppers, bush-crickets and dragonflies. The food id taken on the ground and in low vegetation, gleaning from stems and low leaves; occasionally catches flying insects.

 

Breeding

Starts from early April to June. Monogamous and territorial, but overlaps between defended areas often happens. Nest is a deep cup of leaves, small twigs, and dry grass, set among grass and scrub on the ground. Eggs 4–7, incubation takes 13 days, nestling period takes 13–14 days.

 

Movements

Complete migrant, which leaves the country in late August, reaching peak passage in early Sept. The wintering of the species is recorded in Africa and Southern Asia, and it is still unclear, where the Armenian Birds stay overwinter.

 

Family

Old World Flycatchers

 

Source of information

The Handbook to the Birds of the World

The Birds of the Western Palearctic

More specific information about this species

Habitat

Main requirement for breeding sites are low dense vegetation with patches of open ground. Bluethroats occupy mountain steppe, meadows, and subalpine scrub with low woody cover at 1.900 - 2.400 m a.s.l.

 

Food & Feeding

Primarily invertebrates, chiefly insects, with some seeds and fruit in autumn. Insects include adult and larval beetles, ants, sawflies, flies, mayflies, stoneflies, caddis flies, bugs, earwigs, grasshoppers, bush-crickets and dragonflies. The food id taken on the ground and in low vegetation, gleaning from stems and low leaves; occasionally catches flying insects.

 

Breeding

Starts from early April to June. Monogamous and territorial, but overlaps between defended areas often happens. Nest is a deep cup of leaves, small twigs, and dry grass, set among grass and scrub on the ground. Eggs 4–7, incubation takes 13 days, nestling period takes 13–14 days.

 

Movements

Complete migrant, which leaves the country in late August, reaching peak passage in early Sept. The wintering of the species is recorded in Africa and Southern Asia, and it is still unclear, where the Armenian Birds stay overwinter.

 

Family

Old World Flycatchers

 

Source of information

The Handbook to the Birds of the World

The Birds of the Western Palearctic

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