J. F. Gmelin, 1788,
Name C. ferox formerly applied to this species, but is unidentifiable. Closely related to C. beaudouini and C. pectoralis; these two frequently considered races of present species owing to claims of mixed pairs in zones of overlap and reports of apparently intermediate specimens, but all direct reports of interbreeding are result of misidentifications of subadult C. pectoralis, while the specimens are all unequivocally assignable to one or other taxon#R. E Asian population formerly treated as a race, heptneri, but geographical variation clinal. Isolated population of Lesser Sundas may be racially distinct; on average somewhat smaller and may have different timing of moult, but little known. Monotypic.
NW Africa and SW Europe N to Gulf of Finland and E to L Balkhash, NW China and NW & N Mongolia and, in S, to Asia Minor, Levant countries, S Caucasus and W & N Iran; Indian Subcontinent; Lesser Sundas (from Lombok to Timor). W populations winter in Sahel zone of Africa; E populations winter S & SE Asia, some S to Greater Sundas.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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