Nomadic Desert Birds: With 32 Tables

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Springer Science & Business Media, 2004 - Science - 185 pages
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My interest in the behaviour and movements of birds of arid and semi-arid ecosystems began when my wife, Sue Milton, and I were Roy Siegfried, Director, at that time, of the Percy approached by Prof. FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, to set up a project to investigate granivory in the South African Karoo. Sue and I spent some time finding a suitable study site, setting up accommodations and an automatic weather station at Tierberg, in the southern Karoo near the village of Prince Albert, and planning projects. Among our first projects was a transect where we noted plant phe nology, measured seed densities on the soil surface, counted birds, observed ant activity, measured soil surface temperatures and col lected whatever climate data we could at 40 sites along a 200-km oval route. Along the way, we became interested in the marked presence and absence of birds at certain sites - abundant birds one day, and very few birds at the same site a month later. Subsequent counts along fixed transects through shrublands confirmed that a number of bird species were highly nomadic over short and long distances, locally and regionally, leading to speculation on how widespread these movements were in the arid ecosystems of the world.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
11 Arid and SemiArid Regions
5
Migrations and Movements of Desert Birds
17
An Overview
20
22 Migrants in Arid Ecosystems
27
23 Residents in Arid Ecosystems
29
231 How Sedentary AreResident Birds?
31
24 Conclusions
36
42 Densities of Nomadic Birds
97
43 Conclusions
99
Food and Foraging
101
52 Foraging Behaviour
118
53 Conclusions
120
Reproduction and Moult
123
61 Nest Sites in Nomadic Birds
124
611 Nest Site Selection in Wattled Starlings Creatophora cinerea a Nomadic Insectivore
128

The Nomadic Avifauna
37
32 Predictability of Movements by Nonmigratory Birds in Arid Ecosystems
43
321 Southern Africa
51
322 North Africa
53
323 Asia
55
324 North America
59
325 South America
61
326 Australia
66
33 Phylogeny of Nomadic Birds
75
34 Conclusions
78
Habitats and Densities of Nomadic Birds
81
411 Patchiness in Time and Space
92
612 Nest Construction and the Importance of Nest Materials as Indicators of Resources for Breeding
130
62 Breeding Seasons
132
63 Clutch Sizes and Nestling Periods in Arid and SemiArid South Africa
134
65 Breeding Success
138
66 Moult
140
67 Conclusions
142
The Conservation of Nomadic Desert Birds
145
Appendix
149
References
159
Subject Index
177
Copyright

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