Time budget, habitat use and breeding success of White Storks Ciconia ciconia under variable foraging conditions during the breeding season in Switzerland.

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) Science Article 9


Following its extinction in 1950, the White Stork Ciconia ciconia was reintroduced to Switzerland. We analysed time budget, habitat use and breeding success of 28 breeding pairs at five sites in 1994. At two sites the adults were given extra food daily (SF), at the others no supplementary food was provided (NSF). During the first 20 days of life of the young, at least one adult stayed at the nest almost all the time. Later, adults left their young unguarded for increasing periods, NSF for longer periods than SF. Feeding rates of the young were higher in SF than in NSF. Outside the nest, SF spent more time foraging and less time flying than NSF. Foraging distances were larger in NSF than in SF. Overall breeding success was generally low in Switzerland in 1994 (1.2 versus 1.7 young per breeding pair 1965-98), mainly due to bad weather, and it did not differ significantly between NSF and SF. Furthermore, size and weight of the young did not differ between NSF and SF. Breeding success did not differ significantly between NSF and SF sites in years with an high overall reproductive output (1992, 1993). We conclude that surplus food did not enhance breeding output. It is yet unclear whether a long term breeding success of 1.7 young per breeding pair (1965-98) is sufficient to maintain a stable population

Moritzi M., Maumary L., Schmid D. et al., ARDEA 89 (3): 457-470

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