[sic] Leisler, 1814,
Closely related to C. cinerea, with which often merged, and to C. blanfordi, C. eremica and C. acutirostris; until recently considered conspecific with C. dukhunensis (which see). Geographical variation slight and clinal—becoming paler and greyer to E, more rufous and streaked above to W—but greatly complicated by strong influence of wear, considerable individual variation and lack of natural boundaries; described ranges of listed taxa somewhat arbitrary. Races artemisiana, hermonensis and woltersi all intergrade in S Turkey; birds from Ukraine intermediate between nominate and longipennis, and those from Ural-Volga steppes, the Caucasus, E Iran and N Afghanistan between latter race and artemisiana. In addition, populations from E Altai and S Siberia have been separated as race orientalis and those from Inner Mongolia as puii, but differences from typical longipennis appear minor. Validity of race hungarica sometimes disputed, mainly on grounds that tiny population is apparently boosted by periodic influxes from elsewhere. Seven subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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