Transactions
of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station
Branta Cover Language of the article: Russian Cite: Sakhvon, V. V., Gritchik, V. V. (2018). Nest sites selection by sympatric Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) and Blackbird (Turdus merula) in different forests. Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 21, 40-52 Keywords: Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos, Blackbird, Turdus merula, nest sites selection, sympatry, coexistence, forest, Belarus Views: 903 Branta copyright Branta license

Branta Issues > Issue №21 (2018)

Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 40-52

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15407/branta2018.21.040

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).

Read the paper in a PDF file
References:
  • Aitken, K., & Kathy, M. (2007). The importance of excavators in hole-nesting communities: availability and use of natural tree holes in old mixed forests of western Canada. Journal of ornithology, 148 (2), 425–434. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-007-0166-9
  • Angelstam, P., & Mikusinski, G. (1994). Woodpecker assemblages in natural and managed boreal and hemiboreal forest – a review. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 31, 157–172.
  •  Báldi, A. (1996). Edge effects in tropical versus temperate forest bird communities: three alternative hypotheses for the explanation of differences. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 42 (3), 163–172.
  •  Baranovskij, A. V. (2007). Mechanisms of ecological segregation of four coexisting species of thrushes – fieldfare Turdus pilaris, redwing T. iliacus, song thrush T. philomelos and blackbird T. merula. Russkij ornitologicheskij zhurnal, 16 (377), 1219–1230.  [in Russian]
  • Berezantzeva, M. S. (1997).  Diet of nestlings of blackbird Turdus merula and its comparison with diet of song thrush Turdus philomelos in forest-steppe oak stands «Forest in Vorskla». Russkij ornitologicheskij zhurnal, (20), 12–20. [in Russian]
  • Bradbury, R. B. (2005). Modelling relationship between birds and vegetation structure using airborne LIDAR data: a review with case studies from agricultural and woodland environments. Ibis, 147, 443–452.   https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919x.2005.00438.x
  • Brotons, L., Mönkkönen, M., Huhta, E., Nikula, A., & Rajasärkkä, A. (2003). Effects of landscape structure and forest reserve location on old–growth forest bird species in Northern Finland.  Landscape Ecology, 18, 377–393. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1026148825138
  • Carlson, A., Sandström, U., & Olsson, K. (1998). Availability and use of natural tree holes by cavity nesting birds in a Swedish deciduous forest. Ardea, 86 (1), 109–119.
  • Cieslak, M., & Dombrowski, A. (1993). The effect of forest size on breeding bird communities. Acta Ornithologica, 27 (2), 98–111.
  • Dyrcz, A. (1969). The ecology of the Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos Br.) and Blackbird (Turdus merula L.) during the breeding season in an area of their joint occurrence. Polish Journal of Ecology, 17, 735–793. 
  • Fuller, R. J. (2000). Influence of treefall gaps on distributions of breeding birds within interior old-growth stands in Białowieża Forest, Poland. The Condor, 102, 267–274.  https://doi.org/10.1093/condor/102.2.267
  • Graczyk, R., & Klejnotowski, Z. (1966). Comparative researches on ecology of Merle (Turdus merula L.) and Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos Br.) in forest habitats. Roczniki WSR-Poznań, 32, 157–173.
  • Glantz, S. (1998). Medical and biological statistics. Moscow: Praktika. [in Russian]
  • Golovan’, V.I. (2004). Nest location of thrushes (Turdus merula, T. pilaris, T. iliacus, T. philomelos) in secondary deciduous forests of Sebezhsk Poozer’e. Russkij ornitologicheskij zhurnal, 13 (268), 713–722. [in Russian]
  • Greenwood,  P. J., & Harvey, P.H. (1978). Foraging and territory utilization of Blackbirds (Turdus merula) and Song thrushes (Turdus philomelos). Animal behaviour, 26, 1222–1236. https://doi.org/10.1016/0003-3472(78)90113-6
  • Hill, K., Cresaswell, B., & Kenward, R. (1999). Comparison of brooding patterns between Blackbird Turdus merula and Song Thrush T. philomelos. Bird study, 46, 122–126. https://doi.org/10.1080/00063659909461124
  • Kosiński, Z., & Kempa, M. (2007). Density, distribution and nest-sites of woodpeckers Picidae in a managed forest of Western Poland. Polish Journal of Ecology, 55(3), 519–533.
  • Kujawa, K. (1997). Relationships between the structure of mid-field woods and their breeding bird communities. Acta Ornithologica, 32(4), 175–184.
  • Laiolo, P. (2002). Effects of habitat structure, floral composition and diversity on a forest bird community in north-western Italy. Folia zoologica, 51(2), 121–128.
  • Mazgajski, T. D. (2000). Competition for nest sites between the Starling Sturnus vulgaris and other cavity nesters – study in forest park. Acta Ornithologica, 35(1), 103–107.
  • Mazgajski, T. D. (2007). Effect of old nest material on nest site selection and breeding parameters in secondary hole nesters – a review. Acta Ornithologica, 42(1), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.3161/068.042.0107
  • Mikusinski, G. (2006). Woodpeckers: distribution, conservation and research in a global perspective. Annales Zoologici Fennici, 43, 86–95.  
  • Newton, I. (2003). Population limitation in birds: is there anything new since David Lack? Avian Science, 3 (2–3), 75–84.  
  • Nikiforov, M. E., Yaminskij, B. V., & Shklyarov, L. P. (1989). Birds of Belarus: guide of nest sand eggs. Minsk: Vyshejshaya shkola. [in Russian]
  • Paradis, E. (2000). Large-scale spacial variation in the breeding performance of Song thrushes Turdus philomelos and Blackbirds T. merula in Britain. Journal of Applied Ecology, 37, 73–87. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2000.00547.x
  • Sakhvon, V. V. (2009). Composition and diversity of passerine bird assemblages in the floodplain deciduous forests during the breeding season (Belarus).  Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 12, 29–39.  [in Russian]
  • Sakhvon, V. V. (2007). Structure of breeding passerine bird assemblages in floodplain oak forests of Belarusian Polesye. Berkut, 16 (2),169–176. [in Russian]
  • Sakhvon, V. V. (2008). Structure of bird communities of floodplain forests of the black alder of  Belarussian Polesye. Branta: Transactions of the Azov-Black Sea Ornithological Station, 10, 27–36. [in Russian]
  • Sakhvon, V. V. (2008). Structure of breeding bird assemblages of floodplain black alder forests at northern limit their distribution in Belarus. Vestnik BGU, 2, 38–41. [in Russian]
  • Schnack, S. (1991). The breeding biology and nestling diet of the Blackbird Turdusmerula and the Song Thrush Turdus philomelos in Vienna and in an adjacent wood. Acta Ornithologica, 26(2), 85–106.  
  • Tarletskaya, R. Y. (1978). Structure of passerine bird assemblages of forests of Belarussian Polesye. Vesti AN BSSR. Series of biol. science, 3, 92–97. [in Belarusian]
  • Tomiałojć, L., Wesołowski, T., & Walankiewicz, W. (1984). Breeding bird community of a primaeval temperate forest (Białowieża National Park, Poland). Acta Ornithologica, 20(3), 241–310.
  • Tomiałojć, L. (1993). Breeding ecology of the Blackbird Turdus merula studied in the primaeval forest of Bialowieza, Poland. Part.1. Breeding numbers, distribution and nest site. Acta Ornithologica, 27(2), 131–157.  
  • Waliczky, Z. (1991). Bird community changes in different-aged oak forest stands in the Buda-hills (Hungary).  Ornis Hungarica, 1, 1–9.
  • Wesołowski, T. (1989). Nest-sites of hole-nesters in a primaeval temperate forest (BP). Acta Ornithologica, 25(3), 321–351.
  • Wesołowski, T., & Czapulak, A. (1986). Breeding biology of Blackbird and Song Thrush in Poland – a preliminary analysis of nest cards.  Notatki ornithol., 27, 31–60.
  • Wesołowski, T., & Tomiałojć, L. (1986). The breeding ecology of woodpeckers in a temperate primaeval forest – preliminary data. Acta Ornithologica, 22(1), 1–21.
  • Wesołowski, T., Tomiałojć, L., Mitrus, C., Rowiński, P., & Czeszczewik, D. (2002). The breeding bird community of a primaeval temperate forest (Białowieża National Park, Poland) at the end of the 20th century. Acta Ornithologica, 37(1), 27–45. https://doi.org/10.3161/068.037.0105