Birds of Indian Subcontinent


Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1963
Authors:Marchant, S
Date Published:1963
ISBN Number:1474-919X
Keywords:Acrocephalidae, Cisticolidae, Columbidae, Corvidae, Europe, Himantopus, Himantopus himantopus, Hippolais, Hippolais pallida, Hirundinidae, Hirundo, Hirundo rustica, Iduna, Iduna pallida, Iraq, Pica, Pica hudsonia, Pica pica, Prinia, Prinia gracilis, Pterocles, Pterocles alchata, Pteroclidae, Recurvirostridae, Streptopelia, Streptopelia decaocto, United Kingdom
Abstract:Summary Based on about 425 nest records, made personally, and 150 supplied by previous observers, the breeding of 36 species of birds in Iraq is described. For 26 species the data are scanty, being less than 20 records each; but more material is available for the rest, which allows the discussion to be divided into sections for nest-site, nest, eggs, clutch-size, incubation and nestling period, breeding success and breeding period. Three-quarters of the species discussed breed in Europe and about a third of these reach Britain. Wherever possible a comparison is made between breeding biology in Iraq and Europe or elsewhere. The most complete comparisons are for Streptopelia decaocto and Pica pica. For S. decaocto the results are discussed in the light of the expansion across Europe, the greater breeding success, longer breeding period and different habitat probably being the main factors in this spread. The performance of P. pica in Europe and Iraq is closely similar. Other species for which some interesting comparisons can be made are Pterocles alchata, Hirundo rustica, Hippolais pallida and Prinia gracilis, Knowledge of the breeding of water birds in Iraq is poor, but evidence is given to show that some species (e.g. Himantopus himantopus) may be required to be opportunists in their breeding, due to the variable and fluctuating water conditions which now exist in central Iraq. The general breeding season in central Iraq is discussed. For most species it is shown to be from March to June, usually being advanced by one to two months over that of the same species in Europe, but otherwise not differing in the number of broods or in behaviour. This is correlated with the shorter and earlier spring period of growth in Iraq. Certain species which are seed-eaters (e.g. Columbidae) nest later and for a longer period, as in Europe, while the specialized Pterocles are adapted to breed in the heat of the summer. There is evidence that breeding at Mosul and northern Iraq generally starts about one or two weeks later than near Baghdad.
Short Title:Ibis
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