Messabhia S., Bensaci E., Telailia S., Rebbah A. C., Saheb M.

Nest characteristics and breeding success of Black Kites (Milvus migrans migrans) in the High Plateau (Algeria)

Abstract The breeding ecology of the Black Kite Milvus migrans migrans in Algeria was first studied in 2014 and 2015 on Tarf Mountain in the semi-arid High Plateaus region. The nearest-neighbour nest distance was found to range from 130 to 550 m for colonial pairs and from 1,730 to 2,390 m for the solitary ones. All 12 monitored nests were placed on cliffs at different heights ranging from149 to 155 m. The mean egg laying period was 15 days, and the mean clutch size was 2.83 ┬▒ 0.31 and 3 ┬▒ 00 eggs per nest in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The mean hatching success was 83% and that of fledging 75%. Only 2 nests were predated. Our results disagree with those of the previous studies that were carried out mainly in the Mediterranean basin and Asia, differing in such nest characteristics as the nearest-neighbour nest distance, cliff and nesting heights, egg laying period and hatching success. Otherwise, no consistent differences in clutch size and fledging success were revealed. Finally, we determined that Black Kites tend to build their nest on the eastern side of cliffs. However, our analysis showed no effect of nest placement on breeding parameters and success.


Keywords Black kite; Milvus migrans migrans; breeding success; nest characteristics; Algeria

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