Collared Accentor, Rock Accentor
Russian: Альпийская завирушка
Mongolian: Тагийн хайруулдай
French: Accenteur alpin
Japanese: イワヒバリ (Iwa-hibari)
length: 15-17 ½ cm
Breeds in high
alpine country, usually at 1800-3000m. Found mostly in barren areas with
boulders and low-growing plants. Rather sociable, and small groups can be seen
even during breeding season. Largely resident. Food mostly insects and seeds.
Nests in rock crevice.
Identification: When walking in
the right terrain and one or more Skylark-sized, compact and rather dark birds
fly up, the alternatives are few: Alpine Accentor, Horned Lark, Water Pipit or
some bunting. Of these, Alpine Accentor is the strongest flyer, fast and in
shallow dips almost like a small thrush. If seen perched, it shows light yellow
patch at bill-base, a dark panel across wing formed by the greater coverts and,
in good light, heavy red-brown flank streaking. At really close range, some
pale spotting is visible on throat-centre and fine white tips on wing-coverts.
Variation: Birds in Turkey (ssp. montana) are somewhat more pale brown and less
heavily streaked above.