Avian responses to nest-box installation in steppes of the south-west of the Iberian Peninsula (Extremadura)

Avilés J. M., Sanchez A.

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Occupation of nest-boxes by six middle-size species of birds in unwooded areas of Iberian peninsula was studied. The most frequent bird species nesting in boxes were Rollers (Coracias garrulus), Eurasian Kestrels (Falco tinnunculus) and Lesser Kestrels (Falco naumanni) suggesting that nests availability is the principal limitation for the colonization of open areas by these species. Unlike, Little Owls (Athene noctua), Scops Owls (Otus scops) and Barn Owls (Tyto alba) were sporadic nester in the boxes although they nested in the study area. The occupation trends varied between the species. The Roller, the Eurasian Kestrel and the Lesser Kestrel increased their occupations during the study period, possibly as a consequence of the selective advantages of artificial nest-sites in relation to natural nest-sites in the area.