Factors influencing nest material selection in Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) Science Article 3


Marsh Harrier used at least 30 plant species from natural and cultural landscapes andhabitats for nest building on Lakes Meteliai, Obelija and fialtytis (southern Lithuania). Helophytesdominated among plant species, particularly reeds, though the share of terrestrial plants (especially ofrobust agrolandscape plants) sometimes was very significant. The abundance and transportation distanceof nest material most often determined the proportion of specific plant groups in a nest. Thelatter factor was modified by the peculiarities of nest material selection and handling, as well as bysuitability of nest material to meet nest stability requirements. The peculiarities of nest material selectionare interpreted as the endeavour to minimise energetic costs, at the same time ensuring the resistanceof nest construction. Research results are presented as the description of a specific case of thespeciesi breeding strategy.

Vitas Stanevicius, Ausrys Balevicius, Acta Zoologica Lituanica, 2005, Volumen 15, Numerus 1

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