lunes, 14 de diciembre de 2009

Moorhen 2009 (Part 1)

The Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) is described in the Atlas de las Aves Nidificantes en el Archipiélago Canario (Ed. J.A. Lorenzo) as having a small resident population on the island of La Palma, and reference is made to recent observations of individual birds, evidence of both successful and unsuccessful nesting, and the detection of chicks and juveniles still attached to their parents at various sites.

The following notes are based on the monitoring of 5 different irrigation basins in the municipality of Tazacorte; each one was inspected approximately 70 times during an eight month period, from early May 2009 to mid-December 2009.

Observations show that the species is well-established at specific locations on the island, and is a prolific breeder, with 2 - 3 broods per year.

Two images of the only surviving chick from a brood of 5 born in early May.

This bird eventually left the basin in late July.

A healthy-looking juvenile Moorhen

There was remarkable brood synchronisation in mid-July: the breeding pairs in all 5 basins had either a second or third brood on, or very close to, July 16th.

Cooperative care of chicks by siblings from previous broods was observed in three of the basins (B, D, E).

Although floating platforms of pond weeds were built by some birds, final nesting sites were always on dry land in undergrowth, on concrete steps or manmade structures, or else well-concealed in Rumex lunaria bushes, with the floating platforms being used merely for temporary refuge or as resting areas.

Building a floating platform from water weed

Heading for the nesting site on dry land

A commonly-employed escape strategy when danger threatens. The sequence of 3 images shows a juvenile re-emerging, after remaining motionless for several minutes with only its head above water.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario

Nota: solo los miembros de este blog pueden publicar comentarios.