Agonistic behavior of breeding purple gallinules porphyrula martinica: potential ecological correlates

Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) Science Article 2


Purple gallinules Porphyrula martinica are territorial birds that breed in natural ponds with abundant aquatic vegetation as well as in rice fields. Observations of the aggressive behavior during the breeding season conducted on a rice field and on a naturally flooded savanna (estero), in the Central Llanos of Venezuela, showed that purple gallinules exhibit three types of agonistic behaviors towards conspecifics: replacements, chases and fights. Replacements are brief interactions involving two individuals in which one bird flies or walks toward another, with the result of the later moving away. Chases are pursues on vegetation or during flight, and fights are strong interactions involving mutual pecking and kicking. Fights were significantly longer in duration that replacements and chases in both sites but they were shorter in the rice field than in the natural pond. Replacements and chases were more frequent than fights in both breeding sites.

Zaida Tarano, ECOTROPICOS 161(1):11-16 2003

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