Wednesday, December 10

Tibetan snowcock

   ›      ›      ›   Tibetan snowcock - Tetraogallus tibetanus.

The Tibetan snowcock (Tetraogallus tibetanus) belongs to the Phasianidae, the family of pheasants. The Tibetan snowcock are high-altitude birds occurring in the Western Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau. These snowcocks are distributed in India, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan and China. There are six recognized subspecies. In India, T. t. tibetanus occurs in Ladakh and north Kashmir, T. t. aquilonifer occurs in Sikkim, T. t. centralis occurs in Arunachal Pradesh and T. t. przewalskii in northeast.

These species of snowcock have been categorized and evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and listed as of "Least Concern".

The Tibetan snowcock are medium sized birds measuring about 55 cm in length and weighing 1200-1750 grams. The males are larger than the female birds. The head is grey and has a white crescent shaped coloration behind the eye. The underparts are white with black stripes. The chin and throat are white and the breast has two grey bands. The beak and legs of these snowcocks are reddish in color.

These snowcocks inhabit the high elevations of the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau, coming down to lower altitudes during winter. They feed on seeds, grass and herbs. These snowcocks breed during the summer months. The male snowcock is monogamous and the female incubates the eggs. The nest usually contains up to six eggs. The male bird guards the incubating female. The chicks follow the parents for feeding.

Indian bird - Tetraogallus tibetanus
Indian bird - Tibetan snowcock - Tetraogallus tibetanus

Biological classification of Tetraogallus tibetanus
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Galliformes
Family:Phasianidae
Subfamily:Perdicinae
Genus:Tetraogallus
Species:T. tibetanus
Binomial name:Tetraogallus tibetanus
Distribution: Tajikistan, Himalayas, India, Tibet and China;
Feeding habits: seeds, berries, shoots, insects and invertebrates;
IUCN status listing:Least Concern

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Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tetraogallus_tibetanus.jpg
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mckaysavage/497764784/
Author: Mckaysavage | License: CC BY 2.0

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