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Behavioral and Ecological Correlates of Territory Quality in the Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
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Behavioral and Ecological Correlates of Territory Quality in the Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)

Author: Erik Matthysen
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:The Auk, v107 n1 (19900101): 86-95
Summary:
I studied the pattern of territory occupation and ownership changes in Eurasian Nuthatches (Sitta europaea) in a 38-ha woodland over five years. Approximately 50% of the pair territories in summer were also used for breeding each year. Breeding score (i.e. the number of years a territory was used for breeding) was correlated with order of settlement by juveniles in summer and by female immigrants in spring. Birds  Read more...
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Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: Erik Matthysen
ISSN:0004-8038
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 5554064090
Awards:

Abstract:

I studied the pattern of territory occupation and ownership changes in Eurasian Nuthatches (Sitta europaea) in a 38-ha woodland over five years. Approximately 50% of the pair territories in summer were also used for breeding each year. Breeding score (i.e. the number of years a territory was used for breeding) was correlated with order of settlement by juveniles in summer and by female immigrants in spring. Birds that shifted territories generally moved to territories with a higher breeding score. Breeding score is therefore considered an indicator of territory quality. Owners of high-quality territories lost less body mass in winter and survived better than owners of low-quality territories. High-quality territories tended to be larger and to contain gardens and oaks but not conifers. Low-quality territories functioned as population reserves by allowing juveniles to settle in summer and wait for a breeding vacancy in a high-quality territory.

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