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Billede information:
Fugleart (IOC): Turkestan-løbekrage (Podoces panderi) Pander's Ground Jay - species factsheet
Stemme: Stemmer findes her (eksternt link).
Lokalitet: 70 km south of Repetek, East Karakum, Turkmenistan
Dato: 19. april 2013
Billede info: The coolest bird in the Desert...

Pander's Ground Jay is one of the most sought-after birds in Central Asia, and when you have seen it its easy to understand why its so desired. Its charming! Either approachable or very shy.

To find it you need the right habitat - sand dunes and sparsely vegetation. Usually found singly or in pairs on ground where it feeds on lizards, beetles and other goodies.

This bird were observed in Turkmenistan where its still fairly common in the right habitat, whereas the PGJ in Kazakhstan ssp iliensis has become EXTREMLY rare.

Recently we spend three days searching south of Lake Balkash in Kazakhstan - prime habitats and on former places where we have seen it. BUT - no birds were found... There were some tracks (one of the most important ways finding PGJ), but - despite hours of searching we never found them. Later I talked with a Kazakh biologist who spends his time studying the Kazakh PGJ, and he had found only ONE nest this year (2013)and had been on ten expeditions since January; so surely it looks very dark for this fantastic bird. Until 1991 it was fairly common in the region, but the population have decreased - I would even use the expression, that the population have crashed. The iliensis-population in Kazakhstan might be extinct very soon and those danes that have birded with me in Kazakhstan might be one of the last westernes that have seen the Kazakh PGJ.

In Tukmenistan (and Uzbekistan) its luckily not that bleak - and its still possible to get excellent views being on the right spot at the right time. Its a resident - tough bird, and usually it moves around after the breeding season.

Ill go and look for it again later in autumn and winter 2013/2014 - both in Kazakhstan and in Turkmenistan (participating in updating the IBAs in Central Asia).

I can surely recommand every birder to visit the Central Asian deserts - its not solely PGJ that is attractive; the desert is a wonderful and extremely interesting habitat.

Billede opsætning: Canon 500mm + 1.4 konverter
Fotograf: Michael Westerbjerg Andersen, Kirgisien
Uploadet den: 10. juni 2013
Hits: Billedet har været vist 2375 gange.


Tau Rasmussen skriver mandag 10. juni 2013 kl. 19.29
Hi. I would really like to know who were Pander? And who are the other 3 people lending names to Ground Jays.

AUDEVARD Aurélien skriver tirsdag 11. juni 2013 kl. 19.02
always interesting infos and pictures Michael !
Thanks !

Michael Westerbjerg Andersen skriver tirsdag 11. juni 2013 kl. 23.58
Thanks Aure,

Very appreciated. Hope to see you this magnificient region.


Morten Brendstrup-Hansen skriver fredag 14. juni 2013 kl. 11.11

Tau's question made me look up a few facts in The bird collectors by Barbara and Richard Mearns, Academic Press 1998, as well as other sources.

Pander's Ground Jay (Podoces panderi) was named after Christian Heinrich von Pander (1794-1865). Pander was a German-Baltic embryologist, zoologist, geologist who contributed considerably to all these sciences. See Podoces panderi was described in 1821 by Johann Gotthelf Fischer von Waldheim (1771-1853) another zoologist with an interest in geology. Waldheim founded the Moscow Society of Naturalists while Pander was a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

The next "ground jay" to be discovered was the Dingy Chough-Thrush (Podoces humilis) later known as Hume's Ground Jay and since 2003 moved to the tit family (Paridae) as Hume's Ground-tit (Pseudopodoces humilis). It was discovered by the 1870 British expedition from Lahore across the Karakoram to Yarkand and back. The species was described the following year by one of the founders of Indian ornithology Allan Octavian Hume (1829-1912). A bit further down the northern slope of the mountains, the expedition encountered another new species which Hume, in the same paper, described under the name of Henderson's Chough-Thrush (Podoces hendersoni); this time they had found a true ground jay. George Henderson (1837-1929) was the expedition's medical officer and co-authored with A.O. Hume the book Lahore to Yarkand, London 1873.

1873-1874 a second expedition from British India to Yarkand and back was carried out and one of the expedition members, Captain John Biddulph (1840-1921), found near Maralbashi, Xinjiang a new species of ground jay which Hume in 1874 named Podoces biddulphi. After returning from the expedition, Biddulph travelled extensively in the western Himalayas collecting birds and serving as a spy for the British Government.

Theodor Dmitrievich Pleske (1858-1932) ornithologist and entomologist, was curator of birds, later director of the Zoological Museum of the Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. The zoologist Nikolai Alekseyvich Zarudny (1859-1919) described and named after him Pleske's Ground Jay (Podoces pleskei) in 1896. Zarudny led several expeditions to the Caspian region and Persia and collected more than 3.000 specimens of birds.


Tau Rasmussen skriver mandag 17. juni 2013 kl. 11.19
Hi Morten. Thank you very much for researching the stories behind these pioneers. Very interesting indeed, makes my fantasy wander back in time. Thanks.......Tau

Carsten Murmann skriver mandag 17. juni 2013 kl. 14.33
Splendid information, Morten.

We can hardly imagine tenting and hardships in those days, but admittedly I understand their drive:

Elucidating 'unknown' Birds/avifauna.

And marvellous to experience Pander's' stance and physiognomy
in clean, inhospitable?, Mars-like environment !

Thx M. & M.! ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Yours C.

Michael Westerbjerg Andersen skriver mandag 17. juni 2013 kl. 14.59
Dear Morten, thanks for great research. Very welcomed and interesting. Thanks Carsten for kind comments.

Og malurtet i bægeret: Til de sokkesure marvædere som har så ondt i r.... over at jeg nævner mit firma i billedonfo og derfor klager til Netfugl. Klap hatten og lad dog være med at glo på mine billeder hvis du får så ondt i mindreværdet - skrid hen og spil bowling. Der arbejdes megahårdt hernede og at der så kommer lidt billedinfo som lille kompensation for at levere gratis billeder rager ikke dig/jer som brokker sig over mit nævnte firmanavn i teksyen. Jeg omtaler aldrig mit firma ved navn i forum. Sure løg...

Hilsen fra en pragtfuld dag med tasken fuld af centralasiatiske bjergfugle


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