Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Aspects of breeding ecology of the eastern olivaceous warbler ( Hippolais pallida )

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:Antonov, A, Stokke, B, Moksnes, A, Røskaft, E
Journal:Journal of Ornithology
Date Published:2007
ISBN Number:2193-7192
Keywords:Acrocephalidae, Bulgaria, Cuculidae, Cuculus, Cuculus canorus, Hippolais, Hippolais pallida, Iduna, Iduna pallida, Morus, Phylloscopidae, Phylloscopus, Phylloscopus griseolus
Abstract:The breeding ecology of eastern olivaceous warblers Hippolais pallida is poorly known. In this study, we provide data on nest site selection and breeding parameters of the species in a population in northwestern Bulgaria, the only one known to be regularly and heavily parasitized by the common cuckoo Cuculus canorus (hereafter cuckoo). Eastern olivaceous warblers only bred within human settlements of the study area, avoiding seemingly suitable habitat outside them. Nests were built in a wide range of plant taxa but ailanthuses Ailanthus altissima and mulberries Morus spp. were most frequently used (21%). After taking into account the availability of vegetation, there was an apparent preference for several plant taxa but not for mulberries. Mean nest height was 1.65 ± 0.98 (0.53–7.60) m, n = 217, and it varied significantly among different types of nesting substrate. Laying date and clutch size of first breeding attempts averaged 10 June ± 0.98 days, n = 101 and 3.9 ± 0.07 (2–5) eggs, n = 72, respectively. Hatching success, fledging success, and breeding success were 42.5, 86.4, and 36.7%, respectively. The main sources of nest mortality were predation and cuckoo parasitism, with no significant difference in the proportion of nests lost to each. Cuckoo parasitism seemed responsible for the relatively low hatching success in this population.
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