Part of a clade that includes also P. philippensis, P. rufescens and P. conspicillatus#R. Formerly considered conspecific with P. philippensis, but quite distinct in morphology and nesting habits. Monotypic.
Breeds in SE Europe (Serbia and Montenegro S to Greece, E to S Ukraine and S Russia) and E in Asia to Kazakhstan and W Mongolia, and also, in S, in W & NE Turkey, Azerbaijan, Iran and W China (Xinjiang). W populations disperse mostly to E Mediterranean region; those from Russia and C Asia migrate to S Iraq, S Iran and Indian Subcontinent, and Mongolian breeders move to E China (S to Hong Kong). During warm periods of the mid-Holocene distribution range included areas on NW Europe as Britain, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, as shown by DNA analysis of subfossil bones#R.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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