Copying nesting attempts in a new site may be the wrong choice. A case in the European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)

Abstract

Insistent nesting attempts by a group of European Beeeaters in a new site, a pebbly bank of the middle course of Trebbia River, northern Italy, mostly failed because of the unmovable pebbles encountered during tunnel excavation. The birds later nested in an artificial sand heap, with full success that time. Various considerations suggest that birds insisted in the unsuitable site because they copied the nesting activity of model conspecifics. Finding social attraction and “public information” from conspecifics in a place where no breeding attempt was previously made would allow disentangling social philopatry from spatial philopatry.

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Published
2021-01-27
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Short Communications
Keywords:
colonial birds, nesting site, copying behaviour, social attraction, group fidelity
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How to Cite
Londei, T. (2021). Copying nesting attempts in a new site may be the wrong choice. A case in the European Bee-eater (<em>Merops apiaster</em&gt;). Rivista Italiana Di Ornitologia, 90(2). https://doi.org/10.4081/rio.2020.478