jueves, 17 de febrero de 2011

Moorhen: first brood of 2011

Parent with five of the six chicks

The Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) breeding season is already underway: the first brood of the year, consisting of 6 chicks, appeared in one of several regularly-monitored irrigation basins in Tazacorte on Feb 13.

Information on this species has appeared previously in this blog, but here is a brief summary of the figures:

In 2009, 5 irrigation basins were monitored and a total of 13 broods detected, with 49 chicks hatching altogether, of which 10 were observed to survive until they eventually left their respective ponds as fully-independent young birds.

In 2010, the same 5 basins were monitored plus 3 others. Altogether, 18 broods were detected with a total of 67 chicks, of which 14 survived until they finally abandoned their ponds as independent juveniles.

The percentage of surviving chicks from the total number hatched is remarkably similar in both years: in 2009, 20.4% and in 2010, 20.8%.

As a matter of curiosity, the first brood of 2010 was discovered slightly later in February, at a different location, and also consisted of 6 chicks, of which 2 survived.

Both parents feed the recently-hatched chicks, most of which fail to survive, due to factors outlined in previous posts.
(see 28 Jul 2010 and 16 Dec 2009)

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