This is a typical representative of the drift, a detachment of sparrows. The body of the birds is not very long and does not exceed fifteen centimeters, but these bright birds weigh about 20 grams. They have small wings, the length of which is about 7 centimeters and a small tail of 4 cm.
There is practically nothing unusual in the appearance of birds with the exception of red sides in young animals and stars on the chest. The birds have black legs and a dark brown beak. Their plumage is brown with a grayish raid, tails of red color with a strip of brown color, which is formed by steering feathers. They have brown eyes with whitish eyebrows.
Males have a bright bib who has become their pride. It is blue with a trim from below. In the middle is a star that is white or orange. Females, in turn, have a certain necklace. Its color is very interesting, since the alternation of white and blue feathers is formed.
These birds differ from sparrow only with a bright plumage, with the help of which sexual dimorphism is expressed. Although the female also has distinctive features, such as a blue strip and a light abdomen, and the signs listed above.
Varakushka’s voice can be easily confused with nightingale trill, as it can easily portray the singing of any bird. This ability is pronounced in males when the period of courtship of the female comes. In addition, every bird has its own unique repertoire and features of singing.
The birds live not only in Eurasia, but also in Asia, they can also be found even in Alaska. During winter migration, they can fly to hot countries: Pakistan, India and settle there in thickets. You can also meet them in the territory south of the Sahara, since there are a lot of rivers with abundant vegetation.
Varakushki can be divided into two types: Swedish and whitestar. It all depends on the color of the throat spot that determines the habitat. For example, Redfree varakushki from Eurasia and Scandinavia have an orange spot in the form of a star. They are also characterized by lethargic singing and lack of their own motives. A white star on a neck is found in birds in Transcaucasia. However, birds from Iran do not have such a feature. In size, you can also understand what kind the bird belongs to. So, the individuals of the species are whitehot larger and thicker than the rest.
These are migratory birds that do not create flocks, going on a long journey to warm countries. Usually birds stop in thickets and move along the river floodplains. It is difficult to see their flights, because this happens at night somewhere high in the sky.
After wintering, they return home closer to spring, and immediately think where to build a nest, which is simply huge compared to the choice of other sparrows. Sometimes it is even more hectare. However, if they find a good place, they will fly there constantly. The birds themselves are constant and this is reflected in the choice of a partner. Although it happens that one male has several partners at once, whose nests are nearby.
It is important that individuals do not like to fly even during the period of migration and do this only with a special need. Birds run quickly, from time to time making strange sounds and moving the tail.
Varakushki settle in the meadows, where high humidity, near swamps and rivers, on the slopes. Birds prefer not to catch their eyes once again and therefore hide in the thickets of meadow herbs or shrubs. The northern varakushki live in forests or edges.
Varakushki feed on small insects, worms and beetles, although they do not forget about plant foods in the form of berries. They are looking for food in the ground, digging the upper layers and shingles of the leaves. Rarely they begin to hunt in the air and catch flies or mosquitoes, which in the summer in excess. It also happens that birds find small spiders or slugs. Featins can even eat frogs if there is no choice.
It is interesting that they do not immediately proceed to the meal, but at first they shake the victim so that all the garbage falls.
Propagation and population
At the time when it is time to create offspring, the males strive to show the females their bright plumage and magnificent singing. Concerts occur on the bushes, after which males begin to show miracles of flight. However, before that, male individuals choose a certain territory and do not allow others there, using special sharp sounds.
After finding the partner, a long period of construction of the nest begins. Typically, to create it, you need plant stalks and moss, which are easy to finish the “house” from the outside. Inward, they put fluff for softness. The location of the nest is almost always the same it is located next to the water in the thickets, it may be right on the ground. Sometimes a person finds a refuge in the branches.
Varakushki eggs, which are usually about 7, have a dark green color and sometimes covered with red specks. Only the mother of the chicks takes part in the hatch, but the father helps to build a nest, feeds his family.
Chicks are born in red plumage with spots of a similar color. They live in the nest for only a couple of weeks and then try to learn how to fly, although parents are not very happy about such a venture. In rare cases, when the birds are intensively breed, the male can monitor the chicks while the mother cultivates new. It is interesting that the chicks do not forget the place of birth and when the time comes to create their own family, they try to return there. Birds live for about 3 years, if we talk about inhabitation in natural conditions.
The bird population is in a stable state, but in the central regions of Europe it is reduced due to the drainage of the swamps, because these are their habitats. Despite the fact that the number of birds is average, they need help and therefore in 2012 Varakushka was presented as a bird of the year. It is important to remember that it is thanks to the varakushki that the population of harmful insects does not reach huge sizes.
Varakushka gets used to captivity faster than relatives, but this is a very tender creature that does not like the neighborhood with other birds and loves migration, therefore it can interfere with sleep at night. She needs a spacious cage with a soft litter, and you can feed it with berries or carrots. Sometimes she eats spiders and begins to look for insects. But it is better to provide a bird with flour worms or other insects.