Inhabits schur not only the north of Europe and Asia, but also North America, with about 10 subspecies in the entire range. Bee-holes live in coniferous forests with an admixture of alder and birch, as well as in the belt of dwarf cedar growing in the mountains and on the coast.
Schurs are truly herbivorous birds, feeding on seeds of conifers and various berries. During the breeding season, they keep in separate pairs, and at other times they wander in small flocks. In autumn and winter, they appear in mid-latitudes, in the Moscow region. But such meetings with them do not take place every year. They are common in the Leningrad region, Karelia and the Asian north. I have seen them in Kamchatka, the north of Sakhalin and in other regions of the Far East. Among the finches, bee-eaters are one of the largest - they are not inferior in size to starlings, but they have a longer tail, which makes them more representative.
The beak of the beak is short and thick. In males, the head, back and chest are crimson, the abdomen is gray, the wings and tail are blackish-brown, on the shoulders there are two white stripes. This great coloration makes the birds very attractive. Females and juveniles are less bright, their crimson color is replaced by yellow-orange with a brownish bloom.
The singing of the Shchurov is very melodic and consists of pure whistles, which can be reproduced as "fili-fili-fili-flei-fifi", and the call can be conveyed by such sounds of "fuyu-li". They nest on the branches of conifers and elfin trees. Eggs usually appear in June. In clutch there are 3-5 blue eggs with dark specks.
At home, the unique property of the beetles is manifested to quickly become tame.... Even those caught by adults, literally in a few days, the bee-holes take food directly from their hands. Phlegmatic behavior and some kind, reliable appearance make these birds very attractive. Birds kept without cages become full members of your family - they fly up to the dinner table, and taking advantage of your location, try everything that is available to them. These are very contact (as, indeed, all truly tame birds) pets. They can be a lot of fun, but they don't last long if not fed properly. IK Shamov wrote about this back in the last century. Feeding them is similar to feeding crossbills - you need to give cedar pine nuts, walnuts, forest nuts, sunflower seeds, flax, hemp, the usual grain mixture with spruce and pine seeds, as well as a lot of berries and fruits. Canary-type soft food, greens and mineral supplements are required.
I do not know about the breeding of beetles at home, but an experienced amateur can do it. Unfortunately, in captivity during molting, the red color in the plumage fades, sometimes being replaced by yellow-green. This is the result of a lack of carotene in the feed. In order to preserve or restore the lost beauty of plumage, it is necessary to give food rich in carotenes - carrots (in soft food and in pieces), decapsulated brine shrimp, young coniferous twigs, artificial premixes, which have proven themselves well both for keeping bee-holes and other birds with unstable red color - lentils, crossbills, tap dancers, linnet.
Vladimir Ostapenko. "Birds in your home". Moscow, "Ariadia", 1996
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SCHUR (Pinicola enucleator) belongs to large representatives of finches, about the size of a starling: it weighs 42 - 60 g. It is characterized by a massive constitution, a thick, swollen beak with a slightly curved end of the beak and a long tail with a cutout. Spends almost all the time in the trees, rarely descends to the ground. His movements are unhurried, often even sluggish. The plumage of males is a thin red-crimson color with a grayish-pink tint. The red color is especially pronounced on the goiter, throat and chest. The general color of the female is grayish-olive. Schur is widespread in the northern parts of the taiga zone and in the forested highlands of Europe, Asia and North America. For the winter it migrates to the more southern parts of the forest belt. It nests in coniferous and mixed forests, as well as in dwarf cedar, reaching their upper border in the mountains. In nesting places, pike-holes appear in March - April. At first, they keep in flocks and only in May do they break up into pairs. Males at this time sing a lot, sitting on the top of a bush or on a protruding branch of a tree. The nest is built by the female. Eggs appear in June. In a full clutch there are 3-5 blue eggs with specks. The female incubates for 13-14 days, the male feeds her at this time. Both birds feed the chicks. After the chicks leave, several broods gather in a common flock and wander in search of food in the vicinity of the nesting sites. The migration of birds to the south occurs already in winter, in November - December. Schur feeds on buds, shoots, leaves, seeds of coniferous and deciduous trees, as well as berries. It also eats insects, catching bugs and butterfly pupae even in winter.
The pictures of this Shchur were photographed in the Tomsk region in the winter of 2006.
At -30 degrees, this bird flew to people. She sat in their arms, letting herself be photographed and fed!)))
European schur, Pinicola enucleator enucleator
The general color of an adult male is red, with dark feather bases on the crown, nape, back, shoulder, upper tail, belly and undertail - grayish, wing coverts are brown with whitish edges of medium and large coverts forming two transverse stripes on the wing, flight feathers with whitish outer edges fan, tail feathers are brownish, wing lining is grayish. In the female, the red color is replaced by olive-greenish on the body and yellowish on the head. After the first autumn molt, males receive transitional plumage with more or less admixture of reddish-orange tone. Young ones look like females. As the plumage wears out, the red and yellow color appears more and more and appears brighter. Wing beak is relatively weak.
Breeds in Scandinavia and on the Kola Peninsula, appearing during non-breeding time in various parts of Central Europe and the European part of the USSR (Leningrad, Pskov). The eastern border of distribution is difficult to determine, since this race and the next are connected by a continuous chain of transitions.
West Siberian schur, Pinicola enucleator stschur (P. e. Schur)
The color is paler - pinkish-red (the previous form has a red color with a carmine tint).
From b. Arkhangelsk province along the taiga strip of western Siberia to the Turukhansk region, to the south to Tyumen. During the non-breeding season, it migrates south to the central zone of the European part of the USSR, and in exceptional cases, further (Kiev).
East Siberian Schur, Pinicola enucleator pacatus (P. e. Pakatus)
Males are colored brighter than the previous form, their red color with a purple tint, the light midpoints of the bottom feathers (throat, goiter, chest, belly) stand out sharply, females are also brighter, yellower, their gray color is cleaner. The beak is somewhat shorter against that of the previous form) and more swollen.
Siberia from Altai and Yenisei to Priamurye and s.-z. Mongolia (Kentei, Khangai).
Kamchatka Schur, Pinicola enucleator kamtschatkensis (P. e. Kamchatkensis)
Coloring as in the previous one, but the beak is noticeably stronger, high and thick, sharply curved downward towards the end of the beak.
Kamchatka, Okhotsk coast, Anadyr region, Sakhalin.