Research Articles

Nest characteristics of Yellow-billed Kites Milvus aegyptius in the Manambolomaty Lakes Complex, western Madagascar


Abstract

We studied the nesting biology of Yellow-billed Kites Milvus aegyptius in the Manambolomaty Lakes Complex of western Madagascar during 2002 and 2003. We recorded 64 nesting attempts. In 2003, 33% (n = 39 nests) of the occupied nests were from the previous breeding season. The average time for building new nests was 57 d (SD = 30.6; range 18–83 d; n = 5 nests). Males contributed 75% of the nesting material. All nests were built of dry sticks and other unique nest materials. During the nest building period, 83% (n = 241) of the dry sticks were collected less than 50 m from the nest tree. The unique nest material was collected from the ground and delivered to the nest 10 d prior to egg-laying. The average distance between neighbouring nests was 264 m (SD = 270.8, range = 26–1 081, n = 33 nests). Yellow-billed Kite nests averaged 9.6 m (SD = 2.4; range 4–14.8 m; n = 64 nests) above ground level and 64% (41 of 64 nests) were in tamarind trees (Tamarindus indica). Nest trees mean DBH was 63.9 cm (SD = 28.1, range 25–200 cm; n = 64 nests).

Get new issue alerts for Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology