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Breeds from the northern slopes of the Caucasus to the north of the Caspian Sea in southern Russia and Kazakstan and east into Central Asia as far as north-west China and Tibet. Probably now extinct in the Ukraine and a former breeder in Moldova, Romania and Turkey. Further south breeds in Pakistan, India and Burma.
In the northern winter found mainly in Eastern and Southern Africa, small numbers in Iraq and Israel, occasionally Greece and Turkey. On passage occurs in Turkey and the Middle East, Sinai and Egypt but generally rather scarce. Eastern birds winter south to Pakistan, India and southern China.
Subspecies: Three races are recognised: orientalis from Eastern Europe to Central Asia, nipalensis in east-central Asia and vindhiana in Pakistan, India and Burma.
Lowland steppe, semi-desert and foothills