Volume 42 - N. 1
Editorial - Again on the mass extinction issue
Comparison of Pallid Swift Apus pallidus diet across 20 years reveals the recent appearance of an invasive insect pest
Cristiano L., Lantieri A., Boano G.Abstract Read Article Download
The diet of the Pallid Swift Apus pallidus in a NW Italian breeding colony was examined in the summers of 2012 and 2013 to compare the current diet against those assessed more than 20 years earlier (1987-1990). By screening 5980 prey items found in food boluses brought by adults to nestlings we identified 37 families or superfamilies pertaining to 8 arthropod orders (Araneae, Coleoptera, Diptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Mallophaga, Odonata, Hemiptera). The highest percentage of prey was represented by Hemiptera Homoptera (42.9%) and Diptera Brachycera (21.6%), but we also found a good number of Coleoptera (7.0%). We did not find any significant differences in diets after 20 years when comparing prey abundance at higher taxonomic levels, but in the more recent samples, beetles were mostly (above 70%) represented by the allochthonous corn pest Diabrotica virgifera, a species totally absent in Italy before the year 2000. We conclude that swift colonies can destroy a huge number of agricultural insect pests, and perhaps even more importantly, regularly checking the swift`s diet at specific localities could be a useful tool for monitoring changes and the biodiversity of flying insects in anthropized ecosystems.
Ecological preferences, behavior observations of Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis and their interactions with the cattle in the Maremma Regional Park (Tuscany, central Italy)
Paoloni S., Dragonetti M., Giovacchini P.Abstract Read Article Download
From April 2001-April 2003, we studied Cattle Egret Bubulcus ibis in the territory of the Maremma Regional Park (Tuscany, central Italy). The purpose of this work was: to define the selection preferences for varied feeding habitats, to describe Cattle Egret interactions with the livestock in the park, to investigate time budgets for various activities of the species through use of punctuated episodic (30 second) observations of individuals. The punctuated observations (1455) allowed delineation of relative amounts of time spent in various activities in an average day. We found 54% of time was spent in movements associated with the search for food, roughly 25% was spent rest and care of the plumage, 20% in actual feeding, and 1% involved flight activity. This evidence confirmed that the Maremma Regional Park is an important area for feeding by the species. Plumage patterns of all individuals in April to June suggested they were adult birds in reproductive stages of the annual life cycle. Our data indicated 80% of Cattle Egrets were observed feeding in the dry pastures with livestock and 75% of these were feeding less than 5 m from such livestock. This indicated Cattle Egrets have a strong preference for feeding in pastures frequented by livestock and they have a close association with the herds as they feed.
Estimation of the demographic parameters of Common Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus breeding in three wetlands of central and northern Italy through data of Capture-Marking-Recapture (CRM)
Pollo R., Muzzatti M., Volponi S.Abstract Read Article Download
We used capture-mark-recapture data from three ringing sites in central-northern Italy to estimate adult survival, recruitment and population growth rates of the Common Reed Warbler. We used software MARK to analyze mist-netting data collected according to the Italian Constant Effort Site ringing scheme (named PRISCO). At each site, rate estimates were adjusted for transient birds with respect to sex. Expressed as percentages, survival rates at Palude Brusà (VR) site were 63±6 for both sexes; at Punte Alberete (RA) were 61±4 for males and 48±5 for females; at Emissario Trasimeno (PG) 48±2 for both sexes. Recruitment rates, for both sexes, at Palude Brusà were 46 ± 8, Punte Alberete 50±6 and Emissario Trasimeno 63±6. At Punte Alberete and at Emissario Trasimeno, Common Reed Warbler populations decreased during the study periods; at Palude Brusà the population remained substantially stable. This investigation can not fully prove it, but our experience in these 10 years of study makes us think that populations decline observed above all at Punte Alberete and Emissario Trasimeno, is most likely caused by the incorrect management of the water levels of the reed beds during the reproductive period. At Palude Brusà , although the population remained stable during the period considered, there has been a gradual drainage and burying of the swamp with the consequent loss of the extension and the quality of the reeds. This situation, exacerbated by the small size of the area and its isolation from other wetlands, could cause, also in this site, a decline in the medium term.
A new Middle Pleistocene bird assemblage from Cava di Breccia di Casal Selce (Ponte Galeria, Rome, Italy)
Pavia M., Bedetti C., Carrera L.Abstract Read Article Download
We present the fossil bird assemblage from the Middle Pleistocene deposits of Cava di Breccia di Casal Selce, which is one of the many fossil localities in the Ponte Galeria area (Roma, Italy). The fossil avian assemblage here described also represent one of the oldest Italian Pleistocene ones well described and highly differentiated. We detected the presence of 26 bird taxa which indicate that the environment of the Tiber paleodelta, during the Middle Pleistocene, was characterized mainly by extensive wetlands, open areas with scattered vegetation and woodlands. We documented the first occurrence of Egretta garzetta, Haematopus ostralegus and Turdus pilaris, and the first Italian occurrence of Aythya fuligula, Platalea leucorodia, Plegadis falcinellus, Accipiter nisus, and Haliaeetus albicilla.
A snapshot of the summer diet of the Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus in Sicily
Canale D.E., Lo Bue P.
Late nesting of Common swift Apus apus in the Carnic Alps (North-eastern Italy)
- Columns - Italian Ornithological Commission (Italian Rarities Committee), Report 27 - Book Reviews