Breeding ecology of the Atlas Pied Flycatcher in an old oak forest in northeastern Algeria

Boudeffa, K., Brahmia, Z. & Benyacoub, S. (2014). Breeding ecology of the Atlas Pied Flycatcher Ficedula speculigera in an old oak Quercus suber forest in northeastern Algeria. Bird Study 61 (1): 73–81.
doi: 10.1080/00063657.2013.876971 (Free access)

Abstract:

Capsule: Low clutch size (CS) in the Atlas Pied Flycatcher breeding in evergreen Mediterranean forest was compensated for by relatively high overall reproductive success.

Aims: To describe the breeding ecology of the Atlas Pied Flycatcher Ficedula speculigera in detail for the first time, in an old oak Quercus suber forest.

Methods: A total of 102 nests were monitored during 2010–2012. Breeding phenology, population density, clutch and brood sizes, egg biometrics, breeding losses and breeding success were accurately determined.

Results: The species arrived in the breeding area in late April. Population density was very high with 4.87 (±1.02) pairs/ha. Mean egg laying date (LD) was 19 May and CS averaged 4.92 eggs. Hatching and fledging success were 88.7% and 83.5%, respectively. The number of fledged young averaged 3.8 (±1.66) and decreased with LD (4.2 ± 1.45 chicks fledged per nest at the start of the season versus 2.8 ± 1.56 at the end).

Conclusion: Lower CS compared to Ficedula hypoleuca populations was compensated by relatively high fledging success, thereby ensuring overall reproductive success of this species. Moreover, the Atlas Pied Flycatchers seem to benefit from the lower seasonality in their food in the evergreen habitat.

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