Cohabitation étroite entre la Cigogne blanche le Grand Corbeau en Algérie

Boulaouad Belkacem, A., Ailam, O., Bouaziz, A., Daoudi-Hacini, S. & Doumandji, S. 2015. Cohabitation étroite entre la Cigogne blanche Ciconia ciconia et le Grand Corbeau Corvus corax en Algérie. Alauda 83: 39-40.

Strong cohabitation between White Stork Ciconia ciconia and Raven Corvus corax in Algeria.

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Jeune Grand Corbeau sur le nid (2) à proximité de celui de la Cigogne blanche (3). Un Grand Corbeau adulte surveille à proximité (1). Young Raven on the nest (2) close to that of the White Stork (3). A Raven adult monitors nearby (1)

Jeune Grand Corbeau sur le nid (2) à proximité de celui de la Cigogne blanche (3). Un Grand Corbeau adulte surveille à proximité (1).                                                                                                                      Young Raven on the nest (2) close to that of the White Stork (3). A Raven adult monitors nearby (1)

Food from dumps increases the reproductive value of last laid eggs in the White Stork Ciconia ciconia

Djerdali, S., Guerrero-Casado, J. & Tortosa, F. S. (2016). Food from dumps increases the reproductive value of last laid eggs in the White Stork Ciconia ciconia. Bird Study 63: 107–114.  doi: 10.1080/00063657.2015.1135305


Capsule: Accessing extra food from waste dumps increases egg volume and hatching mass in White Storks.

Aim: To test how White Storks vary their investment in egg size, especially in last laid eggs, in relation to food availability, and to improve our understanding of the importance of extra feeding on intra-clutch variation.

Methods: The study was carried out in three White Stork breeding colonies in northern Algeria. Breeding performance was recorded in 70 nests over three years. White Stork colonies situated close to chicken farms were considered to be part of a ‘pseudo experiment’ where parents had access to extra food. Egg volume, laying order, hatching order and hatching weight were recorded.

Results: Egg volume and hatching mass in White Storks was significantly greater when they had access to extra food. The reproductive value of last laid eggs (fourth and fifth) doubled when females had access to extra food.

Conclusion: Laying smaller last eggs within a clutch provides a mechanism to facilitate early brood reduction in the White Stork, and so should be advantageous when food is scarce. On the contrary, when females had access to extra food, last laid eggs were as big as first eggs which suggests egg size variation is adaptable to local conditions.

White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) at nest, Algeria

White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) at nest, Algeria (Ali Mehadji, flickr)

Costs of migratory decisions: A comparison across eight white stork populations

Flack, A., Fiedler, W., Blas, J., Pokrovsky, I., Kaatz, M., Mitropolsky, M., Aghababyan, K., Fakriadis, I., Makrigianni, E., Jerzak, L. and Azafzaf, H., Feltrup-Azafzaf, C., Rotics, S., Mokotjomela, T. M., Nathan, R. & Wikelski, M. 2016. Costs of migratory decisions: A comparison across eight white stork populations. Science Advances 2(1): p.e1500931. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.1500931 (Open Access)


Annual migratory movements can range from a few tens to thousands of kilometers, creating unique energetic requirements for each specific species and journey. Even within the same species, migration costs can vary largely because of flexible, opportunistic life history strategies. We uncover the large extent of variation in the lifetime migratory decisions of young white storks originating from eight populations. Not only did juvenile storks differ in their geographically distinct wintering locations, their diverse migration patterns also affected the amount of energy individuals invested for locomotion during the first months of their life. Overwintering in areas with higher human population reduced the stork’s overall energy expenditure because of shorter daily foraging trips, closer wintering grounds, or a complete suppression of migration. Because migrants can change ecological processes in several distinct communities simultaneously, understanding their life history decisions helps not only to protect migratory species but also to conserve stable ecosystems.

Migratory behavior of juveniles from eight different White Stork populations

Fig. 1. Migratory behavior of juveniles from eight different White Stork populations (Flack et al. 2016)


Breeding ecology of colonial White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) in northeast Algeria

Bouriach, M., Samraoui, F., Souilah, R., Houma, I., Razkallah, I., Alfarhan, A. H. & Samraoui, B. (2015). Does core-periphery gradient determine breeding performance in a breeding colony of White Storks Ciconia ciconia? Acta Ornithologica 50: 149–156. doi: 10.3161/00016454AO2015.50.2.003
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The timing of breeding and nest location in colonial birds may have fitness consequences. In particular, it has been demonstrated that peripheral breeders perform less well than core breeders. To determine whether environmental factors such as date of breeding and nest position influence reproductive success, we studied the breeding ecology of a large colony of White Stork Ciconia ciconia at Dréan, northeast Algeria, during 2011 and 2012. Mean egg-laying dates varied significantly between years and differed between core and peripheral nests with more precocious laying occurring in the center. Egg-laying in larger nests started earlier than in smaller ones in the core area but neither nest size nor nest position along the core-periphery gradient had any influence on studied breeding parameters i.e. clutch size, hatching success and chick productivity. There was no yearly difference in clutch size which averaged 4.7 ± 0.7 eggs (N = 156 clutches). Mean chick productivity was higher in 2012 (2.85 ± 1.21 chicks) than in 2011 (2.29 ± 2.28 chicks) and was marginally associated with egg-laying date. In contrast, nesting success declined with delayed onset of breeding. Results suggest that a low predation rate, abundant resources and a possible trade-off between fitness components may confound adaptive breeding-habitat selection in White Stork.

Young White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) at nest

Young White Storks (Ciconia ciconia) at nest (Frans de Wit, CC-by-nc-nd license)

Factors affecting growth parameters of White Stork nestlings in eastern Algeria

Benharzallah, N., Si Bachir, A., Taleb, F. & Barbraud, C. (2015). Factors affecting growth parameters of White Stork nestlings in eastern Algeria. Journal of Ornithology 156: 601–612.  doi: 10.1007/s10336-015-1162-0


Survival and reproduction of young can be affected by growth parameters. It is thus important to estimate intraspecific growth rate variability and environmental factors affecting growth to better understand the dynamics of populations and the potential impacts of environmental changes. Growth parameters of White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) nestlings were estimated in eastern Algeria, in the southern part of the species’ range. A total of 2,756 measurements of 65 nestlings from 18 nests were taken for body mass, and tarsus, wing and bill lengths. Individual growth data were used to investigate the effects of nest occupation date, laying and hatching dates, clutch size, number of hatchlings, productivity, hatching order, and brood reduction on nestling growth patterns. Body mass and bill length growth rates were lower in the studied population than in a more northerly White Stork population. This supports the hypothesis of a geographic variation in intraspecific growth parameters. Chicks from nests occupied early reached higher asymptotic body mass but tended to grow more slowly. However, chicks from late arriving birds compensated for the difference in body mass and wing length by higher growth rates. Wing length was significantly affected by asynchrony and hatching order. Last hatched chicks had larger asymptotic wing lengths, lower wing growth rates and longer growth periods. Wings of nestlings from highly asynchronous broods grew faster but took more time to attain the inflection point. Brood reduction had a negative effect on nestling bill length at hatching. Chicks from nests with little brood reduction had a longer bill at hatching than nestlings from nests with high brood reduction.

Diet variability in the White Stork Ciconia ciconia in eastern Algeria

Cheriak, L., Barbraud, C., Doumandji, S. & Bouguessa, S. 2014. Diet variability in the White Stork Ciconia ciconia in eastern Algeria. Ostrich 85: 201–204.
doi: 10.2989/00306525.2014.971451


The diet of the White Stork Ciconia ciconia was studied at El Merdja, Algeria, from 1997 to 1999 and in 2007 by analysing 240 regurgitated pellets. A total of 12 234 prey types were identified and classified into six categories. Insects dominated during each month and year of the study. Three orders of insects were mainly consumed. Coleoptera species were the most frequently consumed prey during all months and years, followed by Dermaptera species, except in 1998 when Orthoptera were more frequent. The frequency of families of prey insects varied considerably depending on the year: Carabidae were dominant in 2007, Tenebrionidae in 1999 and Carcinophoridae in 1997.

Factors regulating colony size and breeding success of the White Stork in Algeria

Si Bachir, A., Chenchouni, H., Djeddou, N., Barbraud, C., Céréghino, R. & Santoul, F. (2013). Using self-organizing maps to investigate environmental factors regulating colony size and breeding success of the White Stork (Ciconia ciconia). Journal of Ornithology 154(2): 481-489.
doi: 10.1007/s10336-012-0915-2


We studied variations in the size of breeding colonies and in breeding performance of White Storks Ciconia ciconia in 2006–2008 in north-east Algeria. Each colony site was characterized using 12 environmental variables describing the physical environment, land-cover categories, and human activities, and by three demographic parameters: the number of breeding pairs, the number of pairs with chicks, and the number of fledged chicks per pair. Generalized linear mixed models and the self-organizing map algorithm (SOM, neural network) were used to investigate effects of biotic, abiotic, and anthropogenic factors on demographic parameters and on their relationships. Numbers of breeding pairs and of pairs with chicks were affected by the same environmental factors, mainly anthropogenic, which differed from those affecting the number of fledged chicks per pair. Numbers of fledged chicks per pair was not affected by colony size or by the number of nests with chicks. The categorization of the environmental variables into natural and anthropogenic, in connection with demographic parameters, was relevant to detect factors explaining variation in colony size and breeding parameters. The SOM proved a relevant tool to help determine actual dynamics in White Stork colonies, and thus to support effective conservation decisions at a regional scale.

Distribution et écologie de la reproduction de la Cigogne blanche en Algérie

Moali-Grine, N., Moali, L., & Moali, A. (2013). Distribution et écologie de la reproduction de la Cigogne blanche (Ciconia ciconia) en Algérie. Revue d’écologie 68 (1): 59-69.

Résumé :

La Cigogne blanche Ciconia ciconia niche communément dans la partie méditerranéenne de l’Algérie, des plaines du littoral jusque aux hauts-plateaux steppiques. Des recensements nationaux ont été effectués dans le cadre d’un projet d’étude de la dynamique des populations d’oiseaux en Algérie. En 2007, 6601 couples nicheurs ont été recensés. Dans les régions de l’Est (d’El-Tarf à Oum-El-Bouaghi), de 1855 nids occupés en 1995 l’effectif est passé à 4411 en 2007 soit 70 % du total des effectifs nicheurs pour les deux recensements. Dans les régions du centre (de Béjaïa à Blida), respectivement 701 (26 %) et 1817 (27,5 %) couples nicheurs ont été dénombrés en 1995 et 2007. Dans les régions de l’Ouest (de Tipasa à Ain-Temouchent), seulement 123 couples nicheurs (5 %) ont été observés en 1995 et 373 (5,6 %) en 2007. Les couples qui nichent en dehors des agglomérations font souvent leurs nids en colonies sur des arbres. Les types de supports choisis pour l’emplacement des nids montrent clairement les changements qui ont eu lieu dans la préférence des sites de nidification. Bien que les villes aient augmenté en taille et que beaucoup de maisons aient perdu leur aptitude à offrir des supports de nidification pour la Cigogne blanche, certains couples ont adopté les nouveaux bâtiments pour nicher, les structures artificielles (toits des maisons, poteaux et pylônes électriques) représentent toujours plus de la moitié des supports de nids. L’essor démographique de la population de Cigognes blanches algériennes est particulièrement remarquable dans les régions de l’Est à El-Tarf et Mila et dans les régions du Centre à Sétif où les effectifs des couples nicheurs ont augmenté respectivement de 263 %, 137 % et 312 % entre 1995 et 2007. Même si certains facteurs tels que la pression de l’urbanisation et la détérioration de la qualité des habitats ont toujours un impact négatif sur les populations de Cigogne blanche, nous estimons que les améliorations climatiques sur les lieux d’hivernage et de reproduction, et l’adoption des terres cultivées irriguées et des décharges d’ordures ménagères pour se nourrir dans certaines régions ont largement contribué à l’augmentation récente de la population.

Nests of White Storks (Ciconia ciconia)

Nests of White Storks (Ciconia ciconia), Salamanca, Spain (Wikipedia)