Nest-site selection and breeding success of two Neotropical flycatchers at micro- and macrohabitat scales in central Argentina.
REBOLLO, M.E., JAHN, A., CEREGHETTI, J., PEREYRA, S. and SARASOLA, J.H. 2020. Nest-site selection and breeding success of two Neotropical flycatchers at micro- and macrohabitat scales in central Argentina. Journal of Arid Environments 177:104121.
Abstract: Understanding the mechanisms underpinning nest-site selection offers novel insights about selective forces shaping the breeding ecology of birds, and provides vital information for conservation planning. We evaluated and compared nest-site selection and breeding success of Vermilion Flycatchers (VEFL) and Fork-tailed Flycatchers (FTFL) in areas with and without livestock in the Espinal biome of La Pampa Province, Argentina. VEFL selected nest sites with greater tree cover, whereas FTFL nested in taller trees with narrower trunks. We found a weak positive effect of nest height, diameter of nest-support branches and the absence of livestock on VEFL nest survival, and a weak positive effect of nest orientation on FTFL nest survival. However, although some habitat characteristics varied between the two areas, nest site characteristics of both species in areas with and without livestock did not differ significantly. The nest survival was 12.7% for VEFL and 28.7% for FTFL, and did not differ significantly between these two flycatchers. The breeding ecology of these birds has likely been molded by a broad suite of selective pressures, such as severe weather, brood parasites and predators that characterize habitats in central Argentina.
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