Bird Families

Sultanka / Porphyrio porphyrio



Detachment: Cranes - Gruiformes

Family: Shepherd - Rallidae

Genus: Porphyrio

Author: Linnaeus, 1758

Category: 3 - a rare species on the periphery of the range.

Spread: The most sowing is located in Russia. area protrusion. Inhabits certain areas of the West. Of the Caspian Sea, to the north. to the Terek delta and, possibly, the Prorva-Talovka system. Breeds in the Volga delta. Not specified for Kalmykia, but could have penetrated here in the last decade due to the development of a reed border along the Caspian coast. Outside the Caspian coasts, it was recorded twice in the Neftekum region of the Stavropol Territory and once in the Yashalta region of Kalmykia [3,4]. The area within Russia is pulsating: the species disappears from sowing. breeding grounds after a series of frosty winters and repopulates them after a series of mild winters.

Habitat: Inhabits river deltas and along the coast of the Caspian Sea. The main habitat is reed thickets, preference is given to areas with a curtain type of overgrowth with open reaches. Occurs in cattail thickets and bush bogs. In winter, it often feeds in open spaces where green plants are preserved - in the steppe, in alfalfa fields, etc. The species is mostly sedentary, but it migrates from the Volga delta in winter, in cold winters, apparently, it also migrates from Dagestan. Breeds on broken stems in reeds. Clutch size 4-5 eggs, usually one clutch per season. The basis of food is plants, especially young reed shoots, which can feed on carrion in winter.

Number: The population in Dagestan is 50-60 pairs, in the Volga delta there are single pairs. The main limiting factor is cold winters, when, when water bodies freeze, the sultanka is forced to go ashore, where it becomes an easy victim of poachers and predators. The death of clutches from crows, swamp harrier, etc. is great. Another important factor is the dynamics of the ecosystems of the Caspian Sea coast. The areas of suitable habitats increase during periods of sea transgressions and decrease during periods of regressions, which accordingly affects the number of the species. After difficult periods, the Russian population group seems to be replenished by the large Azerbaijani population.

Security: Listed in Appendix 2 of the Berne Convention. It is necessary to declare the Terek delta and the Agrakhan Hall. a wetland of international importance and create specially protected areas here and in the lower reaches of the Samur, with limited economic activity in reeds, a ban on visiting the sites in January, as well as strict regulation of the number of crows during the nesting period. It is necessary to tighten control over the observance of the ban on hunting during wintering after January 1.

Sources: 1. Pishvanov, Prilutskaya, 1988, 2. Krivonosov, Zhivoglyad, 1989, 3. Khokhlov, 1990, 4. Khokhlov, Vitovich, 1990, 5. Tkachenko, 1987, 6. Kurochkin, Koshelev, 1987, 7. Spangenberg, 1951, 8. Vinogradov et al., 1990.

Compiled by: V.G. Vinogradov.


Sultanka is somewhat larger than coot, its beak is massive, laterally compressed. The legs are high, the toes are without swimming membranes. The color is greenish-blue with a metallic sheen, the undertail is white. Legs, beak and “plaque” on the forehead are orange-red.


Inhabits reed-covered sea bays, river deltas and lakes. A resident, wandering bird in places. It is few in number and even rare. Breeds in separate pairs in dense, difficult to pass, water-filled reed and reed beds. A small but deep nest is located on a hummock or flooded reed, always very sheltered and built from the stems and leaves of last year's reed.

Clutch from mid-April and later, until June, consists of 4-7 creamy-buffy eggs with small brown spots. A cautious and silent bird, it keeps secretively and rarely catches the eye.

Perfectly moves on the water among dense reed stalks, climbs on them very dexterously, takes off reluctantly and flies not far.Doesn't float. The voice is a repetitive groan. It feeds on rhizomes and shoots of aquatic plants.

It is under the full and widespread protection of the law. It easily differs from all birds in color and characteristic appearance.

Recommended and cited literature

Guides-determinants of the geographer and traveler V.E. Flint, R.L. Boehme, Yu.V. Kostin, A.A. Kuznetsov. Birds of the USSR. Publishing house "Mysl" Moscow, edited by prof. G.P. Dementieva.

Where lives

Sultanka is rather a resident of the tropical and subtropical zone. This species lives only in the eastern hemisphere. It's just a miracle that you can find her in Russia. Here it nests only on the western coast of the Caspian and a little further north, up to the Volga delta. In this area, it is found along swampy banks of rivers, rivulets, small lakes, as well as sea bays - wherever there are abundant thickets of reeds, cattails or sedges.

The bird leads a secretive lifestyle, so it is rarely found in the wild. But, perhaps, you will be lucky!

External signs

There are many beautiful blue birds in nature. And one of them - the sultanka - is the brightest in color representative of her family.

At the same time, the color of the plumage of the sultanka is very changeable. Often, the blue tint is replaced by green or even tarry black. Sometimes the breast of the sultans takes on an ash-pink hue, and the rest of the plumage is covered with streaks. Scientists identify up to 24 subspecies of the Sultan chicken.

The Sultan's chicken has a plaque and a sultan on its head bright red

This is a medium-sized bird, but a fairly large representative of its family. Its length reaches 50 cm, and its wingspan is 100 cm. The weight of the sultans ranges from 500 g to 1 kg.

A characteristic external feature of this species is a short red beak with rounded nostrils and a leathery plaque in the head area, as well as well-developed legs with long toes without membranes. It is thanks to the red leathery plaque that the sultan got its name. This peculiar outgrowth on the bird's head resembles the headdress of the ancient sultans. It is also interesting that in winter the bright red beak of the sultanka turns pale and pinkish, but the color of the leathery plaque does not change. The undertail of the sultanka is white.


The sounds that the Sultan's hen makes are varied: moaning, grunting, mooing, laughter. In flocks of birds echo with abrupt cries of "chak-chak".

The Sultan's chicken is predominantly a sedentary bird. It lives both in fresh water bodies and in bitter-salty sea bays with dense, impassable thickets of reeds and cattails, in thickets of bushes in swamps. For nesting, the bird chooses deep, mostly flooded, reed areas, where it arranges a well-camouflaged nest. The sultanka perfectly moves in the thicket of reeds, deftly climbs not only the stems of this plant, but also trees, but takes off reluctantly and flies badly. She can swim, but water obstacles (canals and channels) prefers to fly over.

Strong legs are good helpers when living in the near-water space. In case of danger, the sultanas first of all flee

The sultanka feeds mainly on rhizomes and shoots of aquatic plants, but also eats a variety of animal food, from the larvae of aquatic insects to fish, amphibians, reptiles, the remains of dead birds and mammals. In winter, it can also feed on carrion. The favorite feeding places of this species are shallow-water thickets, alternating with open reaches.

It is also interesting that the sultanka is not only a bird. It is also called a small commercial fish from the order of perchiformes - Mullus barbatus.

Sultan's chicken is a species of southern origin, so it is extremely vulnerable in winter.

Sultans have few natural enemies, the most dangerous for them is the jungle cat. Eggs and chicks are destroyed by Marsh Harriers and Hooded Crows.


In the clutch of the Sultan's hen, there are usually 4-7 creamy-buffy eggs with small brown spots. Both the female and the male incubate the clutch for 23-25 ​​days. The first days downy chicks remain in the nest and are fed by both parents.Then the brood is divided: some of the chicks are led by the female, some by the male. Chicks of the Sultan chicken are black. They not only swim well, but can dive in case of danger.

In the Red Book of Russia

Sultanka is a rare species on the periphery of its range. This southern beauty is afraid of the cold Russian winter. After all, when the reservoirs freeze, the birds are forced to get out on the shore, where the conditions for their existence are far from favorable. Here they become easy prey for predators and poachers. Of the natural enemies for the sultanka, the most dangerous are foxes, wolves, wild boars, crows and harriers.


Kingdom: animals (Animalia).
A type: chordates (Chordata).
Class: birds (Aves).
Detachment: cranes (Gruiformes).
Family: shepherd (Rallidae).
Genus: sultans (Porphyrio).
View: sultan (Porphyrio porphyrio).

Abstract of a scientific article on biological sciences, the author of the scientific work - Andryushchenko Yuri Alekseevich, Ardamatskaya Tatyana Borisovna, Belik Viktor Pavlovich, Gavrilenko Viktor Semyonovich

Second edition. First publication: Andryushchenko Yu.A., Ardamatskaya T.B., Belik V.P., Gavrilenko B.C. 2003. About the first meeting of the sultanka (Porphyrio porphyrio) on the Sivash // Branta 6: 193-194.

Text of the scientific work on the topic "On the first meeting of the porphyrio porphyrio sultan on the Sivash"

after strong southerly and southwestern storm winds. The sightings are documented by a photograph of three birds taken by me on June 12 on the banks of the Naichi River. The storks behaved very carefully and kept in the lower reaches of the rivers, where there are sloping sections of the banks with sandy and pebble shoals and spits, as well as numerous creeks, channels and swampy areas. The valleys of these rivers are occupied by mixed forests with a well-developed grass cover.

Russian Ornithological Journal 2016, Volume 25, Express issue 1365: 4462-4463

About the first meeting of the Porphyrio porphyrio sultan on the Sivash

Yu.A. Andryushchenko, T.B. Ardamatskaya, V.P. Belik, V.S. Gavrilenko

Second edition. First published in 2003 *

The nearest part of the range of the Porphyrio porphyrio sultan to Ukraine is located on the western coast of the Caspian Sea in the lower reaches of the Terek and Sula (Ivanov 1976). In the past, the species nested in the lower reaches of the Volga and as a vagrant was occasionally found in the south of Ukraine: in the late 1940s - early 1950s - in the lower reaches of the Dniester (Nazarenko 1953) and Dnieper (Ivanov 1976).

The observations were carried out in good natural light conditions, which made it possible to examine the bird in detail and accurately determine its species. Used 8 * and 10 * binoculars.

We marked the sultan on October 11, 2003 in the north of the Central Sivash near the village of Stroganovka (Novotroitsk district of the Kherson region). The bird was feeding on the reed beds in the shallow water of the pond formed by the waters from several artesian wells. At one point, we observed her conflict with the gray heron Ardea cinerea, the sultanka rushed to the heron and drove her about 5 m away from the feeding place. The bird, disturbed by us, after 10 minutes of observation, disappeared into the reed thickets, but after 40 minutes it again went into shallow water and it could be seen again.

The question remains, where did the sultan appear on the Sivash in the fall. There is no denying the possibility that we observed a bird that escaped from any nursery or zoo. Although, it is quite possible

* Andryushchenko Yu.A., Ardamatskaya T.B., Belik V.P., Gavrilenko B.C. 2003. On the first meeting of the Sultanka (Porphyrio porphyrio) on the Sivash II Branta 6: 193-194.

it is possible, we are dealing with a case of a flight from a natural population, the reasons for which are unknown. One of the arguments, albeit not very convincing, in favor of this assumption may be the southeast hurricane wind that swept through the south of Eastern Europe on October 9-10, 2003, i.e. on the eve of the meeting of the Sultanka. On the other hand, it can be assumed that the sultanka rarely flies to the south of Ukraine, but does not fall into the field of view of ornithologists.

Literature a Ivanov A.I. 1976. Catalog of the birds of the Soviet Union. L .: 1-276.

Nazarenko L.F. 1953. Ecological and faunistic characteristics of the avifauna of the lower reaches of the Dniester and the prospects for its economic use // Coll. biol. fac. Odessa. University 6: 139-155.

Russian Ornithological Journal 2016, Volume 25, Express issue 1365: 4463-4466

Current distribution and status of some gull birds Laridae in the Orenburg region

Second edition. First published in 2012 *

Black-headed Gull Larus ichthyaetus. At the end of the 19th century, in the Orenburg steppe Cis-Urals, it was considered a rare vagrant species. Several meetings were recorded in the vicinity of the village of Buranny, Sol-Iletsk region (Zarudny 1888). Currently, small groups and individuals are found on spring migrations, for example, at the Dimitrovka reservoir in the Ilek region (Morozov, Kornev 2000), along the Ural River in the Kuvandyk region (Barbazyuk 2010). Nesting was recorded on Lake Aike (and presumably on rafts of a number of lakes of the Shalkar-Zhetykol group), as well as on the Iriklinskoye reservoir. On Lake Aike in the Svetlinsky District, between 1998-2004 and 2007, there was a colony of black-headed gulls with a population of 52 nests in 2003 (Barbazyuk 2003) to 266 nests in 1998 (Kornev, Morozov 2000). A large colony of gulls was examined by A.A. Chibilev in June 2010 near the village of Sevastopolsky

* Barbazyuk E.V. 2012. The modern distribution and status of some gull birds (Lanae) in the Orenburg region // Terrestrial vertebrate animals of arid ecosystems: Proceedings of the international. conf., dedicated. in memory of N.A. Zarudny. Tashkent: 61-63.