Daily behavioural patterns and time budgets of captive black-bellied sandgrouse (Aves: Pteroclidae)

Aourir M. , Znari M., Radi M., Melin J.M.

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Maintaining normal behavioural patterns is an important component of captive breeding with the aim of reintroduction. We examined the behaviours and daily time budgets in captivity of hand-raised black-bellied sandgrouse Pterocles orientalis provided with food and water ad libitum , and compared them with published observations of wild birds in order to assess the impact of captive rear - ing and captivity on behaviour in this species. We observed a bimodal pattern of active behaviours in the morning and afternoon, inter - rupted by a period of resting behaviours through the middle of the day when air temperatures typically exceeded 40°C. High tempera - ture accentuated the bimodal activity pattern by increasing the midday resting period and by decreasing the general level of locomotors activity. Compared to birds in the wild, captive birds spent less time foraging (captive: 30%; wild: 53-58%) and more time preening and dust-bathing (captive: 25%; wild: 7-11%) and resting (captive: 28%; wild: 16-22%), probably related to differences in food availabil - ity between captive and wild situations. The broad similarity in daily activity patterns of wild and captive birds, and our observations on sexual behaviours and breeding in captive birds suggest that the behavioural routines of black-bellied sandgrouse are little affected by being hand-raised in captivity.