Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Special birds: Bluethroat

There are two races of Bluethroat Luscinia svecica, the white spotted cyanecula and the red spotted svecica. The bird in this photo is a white-spotted race taken in Hungary by Dan Bastaja. This is the race which occurs over most of the region, where it is locally common around lowland wetlands with reedbeds and bushes. The red-spotted race tends to breed in uplands in birch and willow scrub, often by streams, but is rare in Eastern Europe. Adult male Bluethroats are striking, with bright blue bibs bordered by orange and with the spot (red or white) located at the centre of the blue. The combination of these colours and size of the spot varies from region to region and also within populations. On rear views the rusty base of the tail is distinctive, too.

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