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Nest-site characteristics of hole-nesting birds in a primeval boreal forest of Mongolia

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Nest sites of nine common hole-nesting bird species were studied in the West Khentey Mountains, NE Mongolia. Among three excavators, the Great Spotted Woodpecker used more aspens, larger trees, and more living or intact dead trees than the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker or the Willow Tit. Among non-excavators, the Nuthatch used mainly old holes of the Great Spotted Woodpecker, and the Red-throated Flycatcher frequently used those of the Willow Tit. Thus, the nest site characters of these two species resembled those of the original excavators, and their nests were placed higher than those of other non-excavators. The Coal Tit and the Great Tit used mostly branch holes in living trees. With respect to nest site use, the Daurian Redstart behaved as a generalist while the Common Treecreeper specialized in long slits. The nest site selection of excavators might be governed by body size, territory size and their different abilities of excavation. The non-excavators were best differentiated by their preferred hole type, and their tree use and nest site characters were mainly a consequence of the location of such holes. Interspecific competition did not appear to be important in the nest site use of hole-nesting birds in the study area.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2005

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