Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Public information in selection of nesting colony by lesser kestrels: which cues are used and when are they obtained?

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2008
Authors:Calabuig, G, Ortego, J, Aparicio, J, Cordero, PJ
Journal:Animal Behaviour
Date Published:2008
ISBN Number:0003-3472
Keywords:breeding habitat selection, coloniality, conspecific attraction, dispersal, Falco, Falco naumanni, Falco tinnunculus, Falconidae, immigration, Lesser kestrel, performance-based attraction, public information
Abstract:The use of public information is an important component of breeding habitat selection in birds, especially for colonial species. In this way, individuals can reduce the costs of information acquisition, allowing them to make faster and better settlement decisions based on the quality of breeding sites. We studied the roles of two possible sources of public information on breeding habitat selection in the colonial lesser kestrel, Falco naumanni: number of conspecifics settled in the colony ([`]the social attraction hypothesis') and average brood size at fledging in the colony in the previous season ([`]the performance-based attraction hypothesis'). Furthermore, we analysed the time at which information is obtained. To attain this we used the rate of occupancy of the colony. We found that average number of fledglings raised in the colony, but not the number of conspecifics breeding the previous year, was correlated with the rate of occupancy, suggesting that public information on conspecific breeding performance may reveal habitat quality and determine colony selection by lesser kestrels. We also found that the number of conspecifics settled at the beginning of the current season did not determine the rate of occupancy of colonies at later stages. Overall, this study provides support for the performance-based attraction hypothesis but not for the social attraction hypothesis. These results may have important implications for management and conservation.
Short Title:Animal Behaviour
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith