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First nest descriptions, nesting biology and food habits for Bernier's Vanga, Oriolia bernieri, in Madagascar

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Four nests of the rare and endemic Bernier's Vanga, Oriolia bernieri, were discovered; one in 1997, one in 1998, and two in 1999 on the Masoala Peninsula, northeastern Madagascar. At the 1998 nest, the female made 189 visits with 186 deliveries of nesting material during 34.6 h of observation. The female spent 9.2% (194.2 min) of the observation time building the nest while an immature male delivered nest material six times and spent 3.2 min at the nest placing the material. Nesting material included: 67.2% (125) decomposed root material, 24.7% (46) palm fibres, 6.5% (12) dry leaves, 1.1% (2) moss, and 0.5% (1) white plant dawn. In 41.0 h of observation during the incubation period the female incubated for 53% (21.7 h) of the time, the adult male for 32.3% (13.2 h), the immature male for 4.3% (1.8 h), and the nest was unattended for 10.4% (4.3 h). This breeding attempt foiled on day 13 of incubation when a Madagascar Harrier-Hawk, Polyboroides radiatus, ate the egg(s). At one of the 1999 nests, the incubation and nestling periods were 17 days each. Three young fledged during the middle of November. Of the 82 identified prey items recorded during the nestling period, 91% were invertebrates and 9% vertebrates. Spiders, crickets, cockroaches, and geckos represented the most numerous prey taken, totaling 77% of the identified prey.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2001

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