Breeding ecology of House Martins (Delichon urbica) in Northeast Algeria

Hamlaoui, B., Rouaiguia, M., Zebsa, R., Kafi, F., Haddad, S., Lahlah, N. & Houhamdi, M. (2016). On the breeding ecology of House Martins Delichon urbica (Linnaeus 1758) in Northeast Algeria. Zoology and Ecology 26: 77–84.  doi: 10.1080/21658005.2016.1149350
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Abstract:

The study of the reproductive biology of House Martins Delichon urbica was carried out in the cities of Guelma and Hammam Debagh, Northeast Algeria during two years 2013 and 2014. Birds of this species produce two broods per year and per breeding pair. At both study sites, the egg-laying period lasted for almost four months. Egg weight and volume differed between broods and years. The mean clutch size was 3.87 ± 1.29, 4.19 ± 1.02 in Guelma and 3.93 ± 1.13, 3.64 ± 1.30 in Hammam in 2013 and 2014, respectively, with a seasonal decline. Hatching success reached 69 and 74.25% in Guelma, and 74.20 and 63.39% in Hammam in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Fledging success was 64.57 and 72.62% in Guelma, whereas, in Hammam it was 72.22 and 58.16% in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Hatching failure was the main cause of mortality. The breeding parameters and morphometrics of the House Martin’s eggs in Algeria determined during our study differed from those reported in previous studies carried out in different parts of Europe.

 

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Assortative mating for carotenoid colouration but not size in the Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis

Hammouda, A., Hamza, F., Ayadi, T., Pearce-Duvet, J. & Selmi, S. (2016). Assortative mating for carotenoid colouration but not size in the Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis. Bird Study 63: 289–292. doi: 10.1080/00063657.2016.1185087

Abstract:

Mediterranean Yellow-legged Gulls mate assortatively according to carotenoid-based colouration but not in relation to size

In conclusion, our results suggest that carotenoid-based colouration plays a more important role in mate choice than does body size in Mediterranean Yellow-legged Gulls. However, these results might have been impacted by the study’s small sample size. Moreover, our data are descriptive in nature and reveal nothing about potential underlying processes. We thus believe that additional studies involving larger data sets obtained from marked birds and field experiments are necessary to clarify mate choice mechanisms in this species

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Wind effects on the migration routes of trans-Saharan soaring raptors

Vidal-Mateo, J., Mellone, U., López-López, P., De La Puente, J., García-Ripollés, C., Bermejo, A. & Urios, V. (2016). Wind effects on the migration routes of trans-Saharan soaring raptors: geographical, seasonal, and interspecific variation. Current Zoology 62: 89–97. doi: 10.1093/cz/zow008 (Open Access)

Abstract:

Wind is among the most important environmental factors shaping birds’ migration patterns. Birds must deal with the displacement caused by crosswinds and their behavior can vary according to different factors such as flight mode, migratory season, experience, and distance to goal areas. Here we analyze the relationship between wind and migratory movements of three raptor species which migrate by soaring–gliding flight: Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus, booted eagle Aquila pennata, and short-toed snake eagle Circaetus gallicus. We analyzed daily migratory segments (i.e., the path joining consecutive roosting locations) using data recorded by GPS satellite telemetry. Daily movements of Egyptian vultures and booted eagles were significantly affected by tailwinds during both autumn and spring migrations. In contrast, daily movements of short-toed eagles were only significantly affected by tailwinds during autumn migration. The effect of crosswinds was significant in all cases. Interestingly, Egyptian vultures and booted eagles showed latitudinal differences in their behavior: both species compensated more frequently at the onset of autumn migration and, at the end of the season when reaching their wintering areas, the proportion of drift segments was higher. In contrast, there was a higher drift at the onset of spring migration and a higher compensation at the end. Our results highlight the effect of wind patterns on the migratory routes of soaring raptors, with different outcomes in relation to species, season, and latitude, ultimately shaping the loop migration patterns that current tracking techniques are showing to be widespread in many long distance migrants.

Response of three migratory raptors to crosswinds in spring (upper panel) and autumn (lower panel). Egyptian vulture’s routes are shown in (A) and (D); booted eagle’s routes in (B) and (E); and short-toed snake eagle’s routes in (C) and (F). Colors indicate drift (green), compensation (blue), and overcompensation (orange) in daily segments

Response of three migratory raptors to crosswinds in spring (upper panel) and autumn (lower panel). Egyptian vulture’s routes are shown in (A) and (D); booted eagle’s routes in (B) and (E); and short-toed snake eagle’s routes in (C) and (F). Colors indicate drift (green), compensation (blue), and overcompensation (orange) in daily segments

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Le statut de l’Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala) dans les zones humides du nord-est algérien

Halassi, I., Elafri, A., Belhamra, M. & Houhamdi, M. (2016). Répartition et abondance de l’Érismature à tête blanche Oxyura leucocephala dans les zones humides du nord-est algérien. Alauda 84: 25–34.
PDF in ResearchGate

Abstract:

Status of the White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala in Northeast Algeria. The globally threatened White-headed Duck is one the most rare duck species in the Western Palearctic. Its distribution in Algeria is mainly restricted to the northeastern part of the country and the Hauts-Plateaux. In 2013 and 2014, 694 individuals were counted. The studied sites harboured distinct numbers in winter and in summer of the two years. The p-values (Kruskal Wallis test) were lower than 0.05. The Lake Tonga showed the highest numbers in winter and the Boussedra wetland in summer. The results indicated a stable occurrence in the studied areas without any difference between the two years. The PCA analysis showed a significant correlation between the distribution of this species and three following main factors: vegetation, surface area and water depth at the Boussedra wetland, Lake Tonga and Garaet Hadj-Taher. The lower occurrence in other parts of the studied areas, particularly on the Hauts-Plateaux, is mainly the consequence of drying out process and habitat degradation.

Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala), Marais de la Macta, Mostaganem, Algérie (‎Ali Mehadji‎)

Érismature à tête blanche (Oxyura leucocephala), Marais de la Macta, Mostaganem, Algérie (‎photo: Ali Mehadji‎)

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Richness and Habitat Relationships of Forest Birds in the Zeen Oak Woodland, Northeastern Algeria

Menaa, M., Maazi, M. C., Telailia, S., Saheb, M., Boutabia, L., Chafrour, A. & Houhamdi, M. (2016). Richness and Habitat Relationships of Forest Birds in the Zeen Oak Woodland (Forest of Boumezrane, Souk-Ahras), Northeastern Algeria. Pakistan J. Zool. 48: 1059–1069.
PDF in ResearchGate

Abstract:

Boumezrane’s forest is a significant center for biodiversity. Since last year the forest is facing destruction and degradation. Although the forest is recognized as an important area for avian diversity, it has never received ornithological attention. Many studies have been conducted on the relationship of birds with habitat features, however their associations are not completely understood. Hence we need information on the relationship between occurrence of birds and structural components of zeen oak habitats. We examined relative bird abundance by using the point count method and its relationship to environmental descriptors. A total of 68 visits of 39 bird species were recorded in the zeen oak stands. Avian species richness at each point count ranged between four and 14 species. The most dominant families in number of pairs are Paridae (121 pairs), Turdidae (115.5 pairs), Sylviidae (57.5 pairs), Picidae (55.5 pairs), and Fringillidae (43.5 pairs). They cater for more than 70% of the total abundance of the entire community. Using principal component analysis and canonical correspondence analysis methods, we determined that the size of trees with the height of shrub layer is an important criterion for differentiation of the avifauna of Boumezrane. The second criterion is the volume of tree stratum.

Forest of Boumezrane / Forêt de Boumezrane, Souk-Ahras, Northeastern Algeria

Forest of Boumezrane / Forêt de Boumezrane, Souk-Ahras, Northeastern Algeria (photo by Zakaria 09, Wikimedia Commons)

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Consistency in long-distance bird migration: contrasting patterns in time and space for two raptors

Vardanis, Y., Nilsson, J.-Å., Klaassen, R. H. G., Strandberg, R. & Alerstam, T. (2016). Consistency in long-distance bird migration: contrasting patterns in time and space for two raptors. Animal Behaviour 113: 177–187. doi: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2015.12.014
PDF in ResearGate.net

Abstract :

As the evolutionary responses to environmental change depend on selection acting on individual differences, disentangling within- and between-individual variation becomes imperative. In animal migration research, multiyear tracks are thus needed to estimate the individual consistency of phenotypic traits. Avian telemetry studies have recently provided the first evidence of individuality across space and time in animal migration. Here, we compare repeatability patterns of routes and timing between two migratory birds, the marsh harrier, Circus aeruginosus, and the osprey, Pandion haliaetus, as recorded by satellite tracking. We found interspecific contrasts with low repeatability in timing and duration and a high repeatability in routes for ospreys, but the reverse pattern for marsh harriers. This was mainly caused by (1) larger between-individual variation in routes for ospreys (broad-front migration) than for marsh harriers (corridor migration) and a higher degree of repeated use of the same stopover sites among ospreys, and (2) higher within-individual consistency of timing and duration among marsh harriers, while individual ospreys were more flexible. Our findings suggest that individuality in space and time is not a shared trait complex among migrants, but may show adaptive variation depending on the species’ life history and ecology.

Voir aussi:

Trierweiler, C., Klaassen, R. H. G., Drent, R. H., Exo, K.-M., Komdeur, J., Bairlein, F., & Koks, B. J. (2014). Migratory connectivity and population-specific migration routes in a long-distance migratory bird. Proc. R. Soc. B 281: 20132897.

Maps showing the routes of eight adult ospreys (first row) and six adult marsh harriers (second row) that completed at least one round trip between the breeding grounds in Sweden and the wintering quarters in West Africa during 1996–2012

Maps showing the routes of eight adult ospreys (first row) and six adult marsh harriers (second row) that completed at least one round trip between the breeding grounds in Sweden and the wintering quarters in West Africa during 1996–2012. Each panel highlights the three individuals with most repeated journeys of each species (a: OM1; b: OM2; c: OF1, d: MHM1; e: MHF1, f: MHF2; see Table 1 for details) in blue (autumn) and red (spring), as well as the trips of all other individuals of the species in grey

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The migration of the Great Snipe (Gallinago media): intriguing variations on a grand theme

Lindström, Å., Alerstam, T., Bahlenberg, P., Ekblom, R., Fox, J. W., Råghall, J., & Klaassen, R. H. G. (2016). The migration of the great snipe Gallinago media: intriguing variations on a grand theme. Journal of Avian Biology 47: 321–334.
Free access (now)

Abstract:

The migration of the great snipe Gallinago media was previously poorly known. Three tracks in 2010 suggested a remarkable migratory behaviour including long and fast overland non-stop flights. Here we present the migration pattern of Swedish male great snipes, based on 19 individuals tracked by light-level geolocators in four different years. About half of the birds made stopover(s) in northern Europe in early autumn. They left the breeding area 15 d earlier than those which flew directly to sub-Sahara, suggesting two distinct autumn migration strategies. The autumn trans-Sahara flights were on average 5500 km long, lasted 64 h, and were flown at ground speeds of 25 m s−1 (90 km h−1). The arrival in the Sahel zone of west Africa coincided with the wet season there, and the birds stayed for on average three weeks. The birds arrived at their wintering grounds around the lower stretches of the Congo River in late September and stayed for seven months. In spring the great snipes made trans-Sahara flights of similar length and speed as in autumn, but the remaining migration through eastern Europe was notably slow. All birds returned to the breeding grounds within one week around mid-May. The annual cycle was characterized by relaxed temporal synchronization between individuals during the autumn–winter period, with maximum variation at the arrival in the wintering area. Synchronization increased in spring, with minimum time variation at arrival in the breeding area. This suggests that arrival date in the breeding area is under strong stabilizing selection, while there is room for more flexibility in autumn and arrival to the wintering area. The details of the fast non-stop flights remain to be elucidated, but the identification of the main stopover and wintering areas is important for future conservation work on this red-listed bird species.

The autumn (a) and spring (b) migration of great snipes travelling between the breeding site in Sweden and their winter quarters in central Africa

The autumn (a) and spring (b) migration of great snipes travelling between the breeding site in Sweden and their winter quarters in central Africa. Green dots show the breeding site according to the light geolocators, orange and yellow dots show stopover sites in Europe/northern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, respectively, and blue dots the final wintering sites. Red solid lines mark the nonstop flights, and grey thin lines show shorter flights.

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