Ragusa (= Dubrovnik), Dalmatia, Croatia.
Closely related to S. tephronota, the two together often considered an offshoot of “S. europaea group” (now confirmed genetically)#R, the harsh aggressive call and nest details suggesting particularly close relationship with S. cashmirensis. Race syriaca intergrades with zarudnyi in CS Turkey (Taurus Mts) and with rupicola in E Turkey and Georgia; both sometimes subsumed within nominate#R#R. Races plumbea and tschitscherini distinctive, having smaller bills, reduced facial mask, and different shades of upperparts and underparts, but museum material very sparse; moreover, HBW suggested rupicola probably intergrades with tschitscherini in NW Iran. Birds on Lesbos (E Greece) provisionally included in zarudnyi; others of this species in N & NE Turkey (E from Istanbul and N of Aras Valley) and NC & NE Iran (E of Elburz Mts, and S of that range to Qom and Kavir) similarly of uncertain racial affiliation, provisionally included in rupicola. Six subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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