Bird Families

Common tap dance


The northern guest - the tap dance - appears here in the middle zone of the country only in winter and wanders through alder and birch forests in hundreds, or even thousands, flocks, often in the company of siskins.

The song of the tap dance is simple and inaudible, and it is rarely sung in captivity. But, constantly tumbling on the perches of the cage and clinging to the twigs of its ceiling, the bird repeats its invariable "che-che", for which it got its name. The invocative cry "piuliu", loud and pleasant, sounds almost the same as that of a siskin.

The male with a red breast and a crimson-red, like a satin, cap, is very handsome. The color of the chest is the brighter the older he is. After molting with grain food, the red color on the chest disappears, and the cap becomes lemon yellow, which is also beautiful. The female is colored more modestly: only her cap is red.

In a cage, the tap dance is somewhat weaker than a siskin and sometimes dies in the first days of captivity. Well-aged 2 tap dancers live for several years. You need to keep them at least a couple together. In a common aviary, they get along well, only occasionally bullies come across, usually females, but this happens with other birds as well. But males sing here incomparably less than in a separate cage, or do not sing at all.

I was told about a wonderful male tap dance, who reacted very strongly to music. When an aria performed by a coloratura soprano was heard on the radio, the tap dance began to worry, stomp on the perch and sing in an unnatural unusually high voice. But the bird could not stand the bass. With the very first sounds, she huddled in a corner and sat there until the number ended or the radio was turned off. With this extraordinary feature, tap dance was considered: they tried to avoid radio concerts with bass.

Tap dance is quickly and well tamed. The first birds that I managed to catch in the trap were two tap dancers - and a female. They soon became completely tame: flying around the room they sat on their shoulders, willingly pecking food from their hands. Although it was a pity to part with them, in the spring I decided to joke them all the same. He took the cage out into the garden, hung it on the apple tree and opened the door. The tap dancers remained in place. I drove them out with my hand, they flew out, sat on a twig. As soon as I started to remove the cage, tap dancers immediately flew into it. No matter how much I drove them, this time they never left the cage. So I left her with the birds and the door open. From school I ran straight to the garden. The cage is empty, and there are no tap dancers anywhere. Still, they decided to part with bondage!

In the evening, when it got completely dark, I went out into the garden behind the cage. On the top perch, as always, side by side, both of my tap dots were asleep, fluffed up into balls. So say after that that for a bird a cage is an evil bondage!

The food for the tap dance is the same as for the siskin. However, she eats seeds of various weeds more readily than siskins, for example, quinoa, nettle. The first days after catching the tap dance, it is better to feed it with natural food, for example, birch seeds. This reduces the number of birds killed during the period when they are especially weak.

It is believed that tap dancers do not live long in captivity. Indeed, out of several dozen of these birds that stayed with me, only a few lived for one and a half to two years. Tap dancers die almost always in summer. At this time, they should be far to the north. Maybe they can't stand our heat ?! Maybe we have new summer diseases, and therefore fatal for these birds ?! In any case, the main reason is that these inhabitants of the North are here in summer in unusual conditions for them.

Better than in cages, tap dancers live in large garden enclosures. I kept them in groups of three or five birds in a company with others.

They catch a tap dance in the same way as a siskin. They are just as easy to go to all kinds of tackle. Tap dancers descend to the ground more willingly than siskins. They often feed on weeds, which means that it is easier to cover them with a net. For amateur purposes, there is nothing easier than catching a couple of tap dancers with a trap. These birds are very trusting and social. Sometimes a bird falls into both of its branches (lads) into a trap with a tap-dancing attachment, and several others jump from above and try to crawl inside through the lattice. For birders, tap dancers are the least expensive of all birds, probably because they are easy to catch. The tap dance is neither particularly useful nor harmful bird. It can be credited with destroying significant quantities of weed seeds. Flocks of these cheerful birds enliven our winter landscape very much.

Tap dancers appear in the middle zone of the country at the beginning of winter, when they migrate south of their nesting sites. In December, they become noticeably smaller, and by January they may disappear altogether. In early spring, tap dancers reappear, returning to their homeland. At this time, there are many of them everywhere, but they do not stay long. By the middle - end of March, red-breasted males usually pass to the north, in April the migration of females ends.

In different years, the number of tap dancers is different, however, these fluctuations are not as sharp as in bullfinches, schuras or crossbills. Occasionally we come across tap dancers somewhat larger than the usual ones and much lighter than them.

The male breast is very beautiful pink. The birds look somewhat more fluffy than ordinary tap dancers, their eyes are even more "squinted". These are the so-called tundra tap dancers. They are more valuable than ordinary ones, since they are more difficult to catch. In captivity, these birds are even weaker than ordinary tap dancers.

Source: K. N. Blagosklonov. BIRDS IN Bondage. State educational and pedagogical publishing house of the Ministry of Education USFOR. MOSCOW • I960


It is noticeably smaller than a sparrow, in size and constitution it is similar to a siskin, from which it differs in the absence of greenish-yellow tones in the plumage and in a red spot on the forehead. Body length 12–14 cm, wingspan 20–23 cm, weight 10–18 g. When feeding, it deftly hangs at the ends of thin twigs, like a siskin.
The beak in the nesting period is completely dark, in autumn and winter it is yellowish, conical in shape, more slender than that of the Linnet. Sometimes, among the common tap dancers, there are very large long-billed individuals, which were previously identified as an independent subspecies "holboelli". The upper side of the body is streaked with dark streaks, grayish or greyish brown. In fresh feathers (in autumn and winter), the background of the upper color is brown, and in the central part of the back, two longitudinal whitish stripes are noticeable. The lumbar region and uppertail are slightly lighter than the back (pinkish in males) and also with dark strokes. Underparts are light, with wide longitudinal streaks on the sides. Around the beak there is a dark edging, under it there is a blackish spot. On the forehead there is a crimson-red spot with clear outlines. In old males, unlike females and first-year males, the chest and cheeks are intense pink or red, and the number of dark streaks on the sides is less. On the wing there are two off-white narrow belts. Secondary flight and tail feathers with a narrow whitish border. Juveniles in nesting plumage without a red spot on the forehead and a dark spot on the throat, with numerous black longitudinal streaks on the head, upper and lower sides of the body.
Calls in flocks - voiced “che-che, even, even, even”, buzzing “chzhii”, more monotonous than that of a siskin. The song is a set of buzzing and chirping trills, they sing a little during the flight.


Distributed mainly in the taiga and forest-tundra zones of Eurasia and North America, as well as in Iceland, the British Isles and southern Greenland. In the north of European Russia, a common sedentary and nomadic species, most characteristic of the forests of the taiga zone and forest-tundra, can also nest in shrub tundra. In the middle lane they nest very irregularly, only in some years, they are common during the period of migrations and during the winter. In years of abrupt outbursts in numbers (invasions), they can start breeding very early, in the second half of March - April. In the northwestern regions of European Russia, in some years, there are so-called small, or red tapes belonging to the Western European subspecies A. f. cabaret. From common tap dancers A. f. flammea, they are noticeably smaller in size, strong development of red color on the upper side of the body, and an intense ocher bloom on the sides of the abdomen and chest (in females and first-year males). In older males of this shape, the cheeks and chest have a rich wine-pink hue.


In the northern part of the forest zone they nest in trees at different heights or in bushes in the middle of the forest. The nest is a soft, thick-walled bowl, consisting of thin twigs, needles, blades of grass, moss, plant fluff and lichens. The tray is lined with small blades of grass, roots, wool, sometimes feathers or plant fluff. Clutch contains 3–7 eggs. The color of the shell is light with small brownish or reddish specks, as well as deep gray-violet spots, concentrated mainly at the blunt end. The shell background is pale bluish, greenish or grayish, sometimes with a purple tint. The chick is covered with long thick gray down, the color of the mouth is red, with two light dots on the palate, and the beak ridges are yellow. The migratory and wintering flocks feed on seeds in the crowns of birches and alders, as well as in tall grasses on wastelands and along the edges of fields. The abundance during migration and wintering varies considerably from year to year.

Sources of information

Complete guide to birds of the European part of Russia / Edited by Doctor of Biological Sciences. M. V. Kalyakina: In 3 parts. - Part 3. M .: Fiton XXI, 2014.

Common tap-dance - Acanthis flammea

Common tap-dance - Acanthis flammea

The top is gray-brown with black streaks, the abdomen is light with streaks on the sides, the throat is black, the tail is dark, on the forehead there is a bright crimson cap.

The male's chest is often crimson.

It nests in bushes and low in trees in tundra and taiga; in winter it roams throughout the country. Having found a birch tree with a large number of earrings, tap dancers stick around it and sometimes feed for two or three days on one tree. The song is a quiet chirping, a shout is a resounding "che-chet" and "pi-yu-ii".

Encyclopedia of the Nature of Russia. - M .: ABF. R.L. Boehme, V.L. Dinets, V.E. Flint, A.E. Cherenkov. 1998.

  • Rod of the Chechetka
  • Ash tap dance

See what "Ordinary tap dance" is in other dictionaries:

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Ash tap dance - Acanthis hornemanni see also 18.26.3. Genus Tap dance Acanthis Ash tap dance Acanthis hornemanni Similar to an ordinary tap dance, but lighter, the upper tail is white, in males the chest is soft pink. Distributed in the tundra and forest-tundra, on ... ... Birds of Russia. Directory

Mountain tap dance - Acanthis flavirostris see also 18.26.3. Genus Tap dance Acanthis Mountain tap dance Acanthis flavirostris Similar to a common tap dance, but the head is without a crimson cap, the throat is white, and the upper tail is pink in males. In flight it seems light ... ... Birds of Russia. Directory

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Family of Finches (Fringillidae) - This is an extensive group of thick-billed granivorous birds ranging in size from thrush to warblers. Their constitution is dense, the head is round, the neck is short. The plumage is dense and dense, of various colors. Some tropical species have a tuft on their heads ... Biological encyclopedia

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