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Clutch size and laying dates in cliff swallow colonies

, : Clutch size and laying dates in cliff swallow colonies. Condor 59(5): 311-316

Data on 3 colonies of Petrochelidon pyrrhonota are tabulated and figured. Two of these were in British Columbia and 1 in Wyoming. At the 1st colony nests were confined to e. and n. walls of a ranch house. A greater number of new nests were found on the n. wall. Factors determining their absence on s. and w. walls may have been (1) the direction in which the sun rises in the morning, (2) protection from the midday heat, (3) the direction of the mud source. There was a lower mean clutch size on the n. wall, probably correlated with the greater number of newly built nests there, and caused by the birds concerned being young ones, breeding for the 1st time. Cliff swallows at any 1 colony synchronize laying into a brief period. Statistically significant evidence is given to show that there is a trend from a high proportion of clutches of 5 eggs laid at the start of the laying period, to a predominance of clutches of 4 or 3 eggs being laid a week or 10 days later. It is believed that the clutches of 3 are mainly laid by birds breeding for the 1st time. A banding program is suggested.

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Accession: 024346255

DOI: 10.2307/1364967

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