Size and quality of the Coot Fulica atra territory in relation to age of its tenants and neighbors.

Coot (Fulica atra) Science Article 5


The size and composition of the breeding territory of the Coot Fulica atra has been studied in relation to the age of the breeding birds, the age of their neighbours, and the date of arrival in the territory. Old pairs arrive earlier than young pairs. Old pairs have larger territories, measured as its water area. Vegetation elements along the shore are important constituents of the territory, measured as length of unprotected shore. It appeared that the composition of the territory, measured in this way, depends on the age of the male, not on that of the female. Old males have more than young ones. Likely the size and composition are separate resources with a different role of the female in its defence. Important predictors of the length of the unprotected shore which the male territory holder is able to defend are two ratios: his age to the mean age of the neighbors and his age to the sum of the ages of his neighbors.

Cave A.J., Visser J. & Perdeck A.C, ARDEA 77 (1): 87-98.

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