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Wildlife in Italy: Albanella minor Circus pygargus L., 1758

Wildlife in Italy: Albanella minor Circus pygargus L., 1758



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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Kind: Circus
Species: C. pygargus L., 17580

Lalbanella minor is a bird of prey, which occupies a fairly vast range, European, African, Asian. In Italy it nests in late spring in various regions of central and northern Italy, but colonies also exist in Sardinia and Salento; its habitats are hilly areas, but with open spaces such as cultivated lands or pastures. It frequents reed beds, swamps, heaths and wooded fields, steppe areas, savannas and crops during wintering. In the Palearctic it is a breeding and migratory species.

Albanella minor - Circus pygargus (photo http://focusingonwildlife.com)

Albanella minor - Circus pygargus (photo Michele Ferrato)

Albanella minor - Circus pygargus

Distinctive characters

Length: 43-47 cm
Wingspan: 105-120 cm
Weight: 230-435g. Female slightly heavier than male.

The male has ash-gray upper parts with black external primary remiges. Pale gray overcoat. The female has brown-brown upper parts. White top, cream lower parts with darker streaks. No seasonal variation. Immature similar to the female. Fly slowly and steadily patrolling the ground at low altitude, gliding with the wings kept in an open V shape. Complete post-reproductive annual wetsuit, with arrest during migration and completed in wintering quarters (source www.sterna.it).

Biology

Regular migrant on a large front with wintering quarters in South-Saharan Africa. Generally silent except for the reproductive period. It nests on the ground, in both herbaceous and shrubby vegetation, often in cereal and forage crops. It feeds on small vertebrates, especially micro-mammals, occasionally eggs and chickens. It frequents open environments of all kinds, grasslands also at altitude, pastures, heaths, cereal crops, etc., generally at relatively low altitudes.


Video: Amazing wildlife italian spring (August 2022).