Closely related to R. caerulescens and R. madagascariensis, and until recently considered conspecific with R. aquaticus, but differs in its broad brown vs no or vestigial eyestripe (2); whiter preocular superciliary with markedly darker brown crown (ns); more extensive white on throat (ns); underparts paler grey with brown tinge, especially on breast (2); bold black bars on undertail-coverts (2); markedly different voice, song being a “cranking, rhythmic series of identical strident, metallic yet musical, upslurred SKRINK, SKRINK” vs “a single braying, squealing, pig-like SKREEEr that descends near end”#R (3). Although more research on geographical variation in call structure across Eurasia (mainly subspecies korejewi in C Asia) desirable, lack of response of aquaticus to complex calls of indicus in playback experiments suggests that vocal differences are of biological significance#R. Moreover, recent phylogeographical analysis revealed that E Asian population was strongly differentiated from W & C Asian and European ones, with genetic distance between these two groups more than 3%, and the split estimated to have occurred c. 534,000 years ago#R. Monotypic.
N Mongolia and E Siberia (upper R Yenisey and middle R Lena) to Manchuria, Sakhalin and N Japan; winters from E Bengal and Assam, Myanmar, N Thailand and N Laos E to SE China and Hainan, Taiwan, Korea and S Japan.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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