Diet and prey choice by the House Martin in Kabylia, Algeria

Boukhemza-Zemmouri, N., Farhi, Y., Mohamed Sahnoun, A., & Boukhemza, M. (2013). Diet composition and prey choice by the House Martin Delichon urbica (Aves: Hirundinidae) during the breeding period in Kabylia, Algeria. Italian Journal of Zoology, 80 (1): 117–124. doi:10.1080/11250003.2012.733138

Abstract:

The diet of a colony of the House Martin Delichon urbica (Linnaeus, 1758), a breeding migratory species in Algeria, was studied from March to July 2004 in the city of Tizi Ouzou, Kabylia region, east of Algiers. It was mainly based on insects, which represented 99.6% of the 3746 food items recovered from 50 faeces. Most preys were winged insects. 178 taxa were identified at different levels, from order to species. Arachnida and Gastropoda were only occasionally captured and hence slightly represented. Hymenoptera dominated (77.6% of individual insects, 97.04% being ants), followed by Coleoptera (15.65%) and Heteroptera (4.99%). Other orders were few in terms of prey. They seemed to be captured only when the House Martin got an opportunity to do so. This study showed monthly variations among the species consumed, indicating a high level of plasticity in the diet. These variations correspond to the local availability and phenology of prey. Most preys are mainly small-sized. The preys of size estimated between 2 and 5 mm found in the fecal bags reflect that of Formicidae consumed by Delichon urbica such as Tetramorium biskrensis, Monomorium salomonis, Tapinoma nigerimum and Plagiolepis barbara. In Kabylia, as elsewhere, the House Martin appears to be an opportunist feeder which, when preys are abundant, selects those that best fit their nutritional requirements, but which can use others and becomes more eclectic when food becomes scarce.

House Martin Delichon urbica

House Martin Delichon urbica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Breeding biology of Eleonora’s Falcon at Sérigina Island, Algeria

Telailia, S., Saheb, M., Boutabia, L., Bensouilah, M. A., & Houhamdi, M. 2013. Breeding biology of Eleonora’s Falcon, Falco eleonorae Gené, 1839 (Accipitriformes Falconidae), in Northeast Algeria at Sérigina IslandBiodiversity Journal 4 (1): 117-124. PDF

Abstract:

The Eleonora’s Falcon, Falco eleonorae Gené, 1839 (Accipetriformes, Falconidae), is a long migrant and a seabird of conservation concern. After discovering the Sérigina colony in Northeast Algeria, data on laying period, reproductive success, and nesting growth were collected. A total of 18 nests were located and surveyed during the breading season of 2006. The species started to lay eggs in late July and the majority of nests contained 3 eggs. There was no variation in the mean eggs volume and weight between different clutches. The mean clutch size was 2.37 ± 0.78 eggs and the hatching success was 53.5%. Productivity per nest was 0.39 ± 0.40 chick, lower than previous published works. Inclement weather and avian predation was thought to be the main sources of chicks’ mortality. Nesting growth for both body mass and wing span fitted a linear fashion during the first 25 days in nestling life. The accelerated chick growth suggested food availability and high parental provisioning. Finally, we think that Algerian’s coast could support other large colonies that should be discovered, surveyed, and conserved.

Colony of Falco eleonorae, Sérigina island, Algeria

Colony of Falco eleonorae, Sérigina island, Algeria