Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 40-52
Nest sites selection by sympatric Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) and Blackbird (Turdus merula) in different forests
V. V. Sakhvon 1, V. V. Gritchik 2
1 – Belarusian State University, Faculty of Biology, Department of Zoology;
2 – Belarusian State University, Faculty of Biology, Department of General Ecology and Methods of Biology Teaching
We studied the nest sites selection by sympatric Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) and Blackbirds (Turdus merula) in the different types of forests (oak, black alder, spruce, pine and mixed forests). Data was collected in 1990–2009 mainly in southern and central Belarus. In total 724 nests of Song Thrush and Blackbirds (430 and 294 nests respectively)were analyzed. The vast majority (84%) of nests of Song Thrush located on the living trees and shrubs (total 21 species of plants). In general, the maximum number of nests (63.6%) was placed on the shrub layer and only 9.8% of nests– below the undergrowth. In contrast to Song Thrush, only 68.8% of Blackbird nests were located on the living trees and shrubs (total 16 species of plants). In addition,40, 30.2 and 29.8% of Blackbird nests were placed in the forest stand, shrubland herbaceous layers respectively. We classified all the nest sites of thrushes (in the forest stand, undergrowth and ground cover) into nine types. For both species all types of nest locations were registered. It was confirmed that the presence of suitable nest sites is one of the most important limiting factors determining the distribution of Song Thrush and Blackbirds in forests. The observed increasing of the nest densities of both species of thrushes in the gradient of forests (pine forest – spruce forest – mixed forest – black alder forest – oak forest) could be explained by the increase of structural complexity of these biotopes. This suggestion is supported by the increased diversity of the types of nest sites occurrence along this gradient (Song Thrush: 3 – 2 – 3 – 7 – 8 and Blackbirds: 4 – 4 – 6 – 7 – 7 types of the nest sites).
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