Breeding habitat and nesting site of the red-backed shrikeLanius collurio in farmland of the Marche region, Italy

Morelli F., Pandolfi M.

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In this work we studied some characteristics of nesting sites of red-backed shrike Lanius collurio in some areas of the Marche Region (Central Italy). These areas are characterized by a temperate climate and by mainly agricultural cover. We analyzed the breeding site macrohabitat and the nest microhabitat. Results showed a prevalence of shrubs, most commonly Prunus spinosa and Rosa canina, as nest support. The nest is generally located at mid height (1.39 m) and in the midpoint of the shrub. Nesting sites were located mainly in the edge zone of the vegetation patches and nearby the roads. In over 65 % of cases the nests were built less than 5 meters far from roads. Results highlight the importance of some vegetation species and the presence of certain environmental structures (presence of shrubs, tree rows and other marginal habitats of farmland areas) for the preservation of this species, whose conservation status in Italy and Europe is currently unfavourable.