Occurs as three forms, considered here as morphs—“picata”, “opistholeuca” and “capistrata”—but commonly treated as races#R, and sometimes even as full species; alternatively, the first two together have been considered as one species, and the third as another, an arrangement which is possibly more appropriate. Populations of “capistrata” × “opistholeuca” exist, however, and there are records of hybrid male “capistrata” × “picata” pairing with female “opistholeuca”. The morph “capistrata” has been thought perhaps to represent a hybrid swarm with O. pleschanka, which both sexes closely resemble. Monotypic.
NE & SE Iran, Turkmenistan and extreme S Kazakhstan#R E to W Tien Shan, Pamirs, N & W Pakistan and Kashmir; non-breeding SW Asia and SE Arabian Peninsula.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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