This is a predatory bird from the Lunev family. Fully justifying its name, the steppe moon lives in open areas in the steppes, fields, foothills. He is a typical predator that soars for a long time over the endless expanses and looks out for the prey among the grass.
All types of lunes are relatives of hawks, so they have much in common in appearance. A characteristic visual feature Lunia is the presence of a discreet, but still the facial disk. This is the name of the “design” of feathers that frames the face and partially neck. The most vividly possible facial disk is expressed in the.
Unlike hawks, Luni have a very different coloring of males and females. The male steppe moon has a sizu back, typical white eyebrows and cheeks. The entire lower body is white, and the iris of the eye is yellow.
Adult females of the steppe moon have a much more interesting “outfit”. There are brown feathers in the upper body and an interesting red rim along the edge of the wings. On the tail smoky, ashen and brown feathers that the white strip crosses. The rainbow of the eye in the female is brown.
The steppe moon is a mediumsized bird. The length of his body, on average, is 45 centimeters, and the maximum mass is up to 500 grams. In color and general appearance, it looks like a field moon.
Habitat and lifestyle
Stepnoy Lun the inhabitant of the Eurasian part of the globe. He inhabit the territories from Ukraine to Southern Siberia, while “going” into many neighboring territories. So, Lunya can be found in the preCaucasia, Central Siberia, the steppes of Kazakhstan, in Altai.
The classic habitat of the steppe moon is an open area with grass, shrubs, or even just with bare ground, gravel, etc.D. Ideally, it is a steppe that is densely inhabited by rodents. The steppe moon is a migratory bird, therefore, with the onset of cold weather, it makes long flights to warm countries. Most Lunia winter in South Asia, but from some territories these birds fly to Eastern and South Africa.
The nest of the steppe moon is an ordinary hole dug up in the ground. There are most often four eggs in one masonry. The forking period lasts about a month, and the chicks become completely independent about 30-40 days after the birth.
Being a predator, the steppe moon mines small animals, birds and amphibians living in the nesting area. Most often these are various rodents, lizards, small birds, frogs, small snakes. The bird can enjoy large insects, including large grasshoppers and locusts.
The hunting of the steppe moon is in the circuit of the territories with a soaring flight. Most often, the bird quietly soars above the ground, “leaning” on the rising streams of warm air. Due to the lack of waves of wings, the steppe moon at this time does not make any noise. He inaudibly flies to prey and grabs its tenacious claws.
Despite the wide habitat, the population of the steppe moon is slowly but surely reduced. It is entered in the Red Book of Eurasia as “a view with a contracting number”. At the moment, there are already territories of the range where it is very difficult to find these birds. These include areas of the lower and middle Don, northwestern Caspius and other.
The most densely steppe moon inhabit the steppes of the TransUrals and Western Siberia. To preserve the natural habitat of the steppe birds, the Altai, Central Black Earth and Orenburg Reserves operate. In their territories, the number of steppe lunis is also high.