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Breeding ecology of common myna Acridotheres tristis with special reference to the effect of season and habitat on reproductive variables



Breeding ecology of common myna Acridotheres tristis with special reference to the effect of season and habitat on reproductive variables



Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 95(1): 43-56, April



Breeding ecology of common myna Acridotheres tristis was studied in nest boxes and natural nests at Ludhiana, India. Breeding season extended from March to September. Nesting material included twigs, leaves, feathers, paper and plastics; the first two material types being used in significantly greater amounts. Size and fresh weight of eggs differed significantly among females, although successive eggs within a clutch did not differ significantly. Brood number, egg sequence and laying season did not affect egg size, whereas habitat around nests affected both the breadth and volume of eggs. Average clutch size was 4.29 +- 0.85 (sd). Clutch size did not vary with brood number and habitat but laying season affected it significantly. Clutches laid early in the season were bigger and there was a steady decline in average clutch size with the advancement of laying season. Brood number, laying season and habitat did not affect the number of eggs hatched or young fledged per clutch. Incubation period ranged between 11 and 14 days and averaged 12.73 +- 0.88 days. Hatching and nesting success were recorded as 66.1% and 34.4%, respectively. Average nestling period was 21.75 +- 2.78 days. Growth of nestlings showed sigmoid curve. Hatching failure and predation were the most important factors of egg mortality, whereas predation, intraspecific rivalry and starvation accounted for most of the nestling mortality. Significantly greater proportion of hole nests (80%) were successful (produced at least one fledgling) compared with open nests (35.7%). Overall, an average production of 1.4 fledglings per nesting pair was recorded. Ibis study suggests that laying season and habitat of the common myna significantly affect its clutch size and egg size respectively.

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