Tetraogallus

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Tetraogallus

 

a genus of large birds of the family Phasiani-dae. The body, which measures 50–70 cm in length, is compact, and the legs are strong. Males have a short spur. Members of the genus are distributed at high elevations in the Caucasus, Southern Siberia, Asia Minor, and Middle and Central Asia. There are five species, all of which are represented in the USSR: the Caucasian snow pheasant (T. caucasicus), in the Glavnyi Range in the Caucasus; the Caspian snow cock (T. caspius), in Armenia and the Kopetdag; the Himalayan snow cock (T. himalayensis), in the Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alai; the Altai snow cock (T. altaicus), in the Altai and Saian ranges; and the Tibetan snow cock (T. tibetanus), in the eastern Pamir.

The best-known species is the Himalayan snow cock, the male of which weighs up to 3 kg. The plumage is similar for males and females—a claylike gray color with small black speckles and chestnut stripes on the sides and neck. The species inhabits meadows in the subalpine and alpine zones of mountains, spending the night among the rocks. After heavy snow it migrates to elevations of 1,500–2,000 m. The birds are monogamous and nest on the ground. There are five or six eggs in a clutch. The birds brood about 30 days. Adult birds feed on shoots, buds, flowers, seeds, and bulbs, while the young feed on insects. The Himalayan snow cock is hunted for sport.

A. I. IVANOV

References in periodicals archive ?
And then there were those crazy chukar-like snowcock in Nevada.
Curly and pink pelicans, black stork, common flamingo, bustard, demoiselle crane, black francolin and Caspian snowcock and all birds of prey are also prohibited for hunting.
The reserve support varieties of mammals (e.g., snow leopard, wolf Canis lupus, red fox Vulpes vulpes, ibex Capra sibirica, and argali sheep Ovis ammon), birds (e.g., snowcock
Partridges, Quails, Francolins, Snowcocks, Guinefowl and Turkeys.
Most of the identified species were found around the settlements, agricultural fields and vegetative areas while the threatened and rare species like Vultures, Lesser Kestrels, Snowcocks, and Snow Partridges were found far away from the human settlements and at higher elevations.
Main hunting, rare and endangered species of animals, listed in the Red Book of Kyrgyzstan in 2013 and registered in the specially protected natural territory, are snow leopards (94 species), jackals (300), wild boars (354), wolves (489), roe deer (887), foxes (1,783), snowcocks (5,944), hares (9,542), argalis (9,567), pheasants (9,766), chukars (14,313) and ibexes (16,905).
For example, Himalayan snowcocks (Tetraogallus himalayensis), a bird that feeds on grasses, forbs, and sedges, are more vulnerable to raptorial predators in areas where they can forage most efficiently (Bland and Temple 1990).
Hunting for blue sheep once carried me to more than 15,000 feet up a Chinese mountain where snowcocks flushed beneath the ponies' hooves, while I've crossed a lot of rocky, cactus-strewn Sonoran hillsides in pursuit of Coues' deer and Gould's turkey.