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Nesting biology and food habits of the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus radama in the south-west and central plateau of Madagascar

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We studied nesting biology, behaviour, and diet of the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus radama in Madagascar during two breeding seasons at Tsimanampetsotsa Natural Reserve in the south-west (n = 2 nests) and at Tritriva Lake (n = 1 nest) on the central plateau from July to November 1999 and June to October 2000, respectively. Pair formation took place in May at Tritiva and in June at Tsimanampetsotsa. Mating periods spanned 75 days in the south-west and 43 days on the central plateau. Eggs were laid during July on the high plateau and in August in the south-west. The incubation period at the two nests was 33 and 35 days, respectively. Five young hatched in two nests, three on the central plateau in August and a minimum of two in the south-west in September. Two young fledged successfully at 42 days of age at the south-west nest and the three young at the high plateau succumbed to unknown causes. The two fledged young dispersed at 64 days of age. The Peregrine Falcon diet in Madagascar varied between the two sites: in the south-west 100% (n = 353 birds; 19 species) of identified prey was composed of native birds and 99% (n = 94; 2 species) of identified prey at the central plateau site was almost exclusively domestic chickens Gallus gallus.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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