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Seasonal variation on the activity patterns of the partridge hybrids between rock partridge alectoris graeca saxatilis and red legged partridge alectoris rufa rufa in southern french alps


Seasonal variation on the activity patterns of the partridge hybrids between rock partridge alectoris graeca saxatilis and red legged partridge alectoris rufa rufa in southern french alps



Alauda 58(2): 99-106



ISSN/ISBN: 0002-4619

The activity pattern of partridges (hybrids between Rock Partridge Alectoris graeca saxatilis, and Red-legged Partridge, Alcetoris rufa rufa) was followed throughout the year in a mountainous area between 900 and 2100 in the southern French Alps. These birds were equiped with radio-transmitters containing movement-sensitive mercury tilt-switch devices which gave immediate indication of activity. Recording of data was automatic and sequenced every minute. Only birds without young were studied. The data acquired allowed the evaluation of several parameters which describe hourly, daily and seasonal activity. Activity reached its maximum in June-July, not in December-January during day of shortest daylight. This increased level of activity during late spring is probably due to the high food requirements just before incubation. In winter, partridges did not seem to be limited by the time devoted to foraging activities. But all our data was collected during mild weather. The hourly distribution of daily activity fluctuates seasonnally. In August-September, there is a first peak in the early morning and a second in late afternoon. In spring and autumn, there is a third peak at midday. In winter, activity is sustained throughout the day with only a short lapse in the early morning. Ambient temperature seems to influence both the duration and frequency of rest. Indeed, in winter, rest periods were shorter than during other seasons and activity is more intensive in the afternoon than during the coldest morning hours. In summer, the long rest period around middday may be a response to avoid heat stress during very hot weather.

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Accession: 007773608

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