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Nest-site fidelity and breeding success in White Stork Ciconia ciconia

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Nest-site fidelity is a life-history trait of birds that may produce benefits in terms of fitness. We studied the relationship between breeding success and nest fidelity in the White Stork Ciconia ciconia. We also studied how other factors such as age, sex, habitat, colony size and productivity in previous breeding attempts might interfere with this relationship. Our results showed that pairs with higher fidelity rates also have lower failure rates, and that breeding failure and productivity in the previous season influenced the frequency of nest change in the following season. In addition, a curvilinear relationship was found between age and nest fidelity. These results suggest that age is a major factor related to nest fidelity and therefore individual experience could explain this behaviour in the White Stork. Changing the nest involves a reproductive cost for which nest fidelity can be considered as an adaptive strategy to increase fitness.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Dpto. de Zoología y Antropología Física, Facultad de Biología, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, C/José Antonio Novais, 2, 28040 Madrid, Spain 2: Dpto. de Ecología Evolutiva, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (CSIC), J. Gutiérrez Abascal 2, E-28006 Madrid, Spain 3: Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos (CSIC), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13005 Ciudad Real, Spain

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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