Volume 32 - N. 1/2
1/2 2008

Avocetta
Volume 32 - N. 1/2



  1. Goshawks Accipiter gentilis nest-tree and stand preferences in the Dadia-Lefkimi-Soufli forest,north-eastern Greece

    Alexandrou O., Vlachos C., Bakaloudis D.

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    11 48

    Goshawk Accipiter gentilis preferences in terms of nest tree and nest stand (0.2 ha circle centred at nest tree) were studied at
    23 nests in north-eastern Greece. Nest-tree and nest-stand characteristics were compared to those measured at paired, randomly selected
    plots. Goshawks usually nested in Calabrian pines Pinus brutia that were always dominant in the canopy. Trees at nest stands were
    taller, had greater diameter at breast height and were older than trees at random plots. The total tree density in goshawk nest-stands was
    lower, but the total tree basal area was greater compared to random plots. Goshawk nests were found at gentle and north-facing slopes
    in mature stands with high canopy closure. The importance of mature forest is emphasised for the maintenance of a stable goshawk
    population in the area.

  2. Spring raptor migration along the Adriatic coast (Italy):a comparative study over three sites

    Premuda G., Gustin M., Pandolfi M., Sonet L., Cento M.

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    13 44

    Daily observations were carried out from 23 April to 7 May 2005 over three sites along the Adriatic coast: Mount Conero,
    Mount San Bartolo (Marche region) and the Po Delta (Emilia-Romagna region), where 1849, 658 and 337 raptors were counted respectively. In addition, two watch-points in the Mount Conero area were both monitored from 20 April to 20 May 2004, in order to determine
    the percentage of the migrating raptors starting to cross the Adriatic Sea. Marsh harrier, honey buzzard and red-footed falcon (the latter
    in Conero and S. Bartolo sites) were the most frequently observed migrating raptors species. The low correlation among the different migration peaks over the three sites seems to show that raptors perform coasting behaviour only partially during spring migration along the
    part of the Adriatic coast studied. Furthermore, the importance of the Mount Conero as geomorphologic reference sites seems confrmed,
    since a fraction of the migrating raptors apparently cross the Adriatic Sea towards the Balkans. Nevertheless, further researches are needed at the Mount Conero in order to better quantify the risk of re-counting.

  3. Comparative analysis of the breeding avifauna of Italian cities

    Fraissinet M., Fulgione D.

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    14 60

    We carried out a large-scale analysis on quantitative and qualitative composition of the bird communities living in Italian urban ecosystems, comparing them with the avifaunas of regional areas. The comparison between these two territorial levels makes it possible to identify the effects of urbanization in different biogeographical and ecological contexts. Particularly, we have analysed the variation of some diversity indexes, biogeographical and chorological categories according to latitudinal gradient. In contrast with the expected biogeographical peninsular effect, the decreasing in species richness for Italian cities is signifcantly less steep than that observed
    for their corresponding not urbanized areas. Moreover, Palearctic-Oriental species clearly prevail in cities, regardless of latitude. In the
    cities small Passerine species are more abundant than in the surrounding areas. The diversity found in the cities, relative to biogeographical categories, may be imputable to the typical ecological diversity of the urban ecosystems. This probable also is the reason of the small
    size of birds found in the cities and of the differences with surrounding areas.

  4. Spring migration of Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchosthrough western Mediterranean islands: Illa de l’Aire and Columbrets

    Barriocanal C., Robson D.

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    11 41

    Spring migration of Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos over the western Mediterranean has been studied using observations collected at a ringing station on the islands of Illa de l’Aire (Balearics) and Columbrets (60 km. off mainland of Levante region) in
    Spain. During the years 1994-2003, birds were caught, and measured, between 16th April and 15th May. The mean arrival date was three
    days later in second-year than in adults on Illa de l’Aire and two days on Columbrets. At the two stations long-winged individuals passed
    before short-winged birds, both in the case of second-year and adults. Adults were heavier than second-year and signifcant differences
    were found in body mass along the season, i.e. heavier individuals passed before lighter ones. Important differences were found on fat
    scores being the mean in Columbrets signifcatively lower than on Illa de l’Aire. Our observations suggest that those Nightingales stopping over at Columbrets islands are not really overseas migrants, as they have a coastline migration strategy despite passing over islands
    located 60 km offshore.

  5. Feeding and foraging behaviour of the Laughing DoveStreptopelia senegalensis  in Lucknow, India

    Mazumdar A., Kumar P.

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    11 291

    The Laughing dove is a resident species and is found all across India. They occur abundantly in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. We
    conducted a gut content analysis and observed their foraging behaviour on the farmlands located on the city outskirts and at granaries and
    storehouses in the city and on its outskirts between July, 2005 and June, 2006. Among gut contents we were able to identify and quantify
    grains of wheat, millet and rice along with seeds of sunflower, grass and 10 species of weeds. Among animal matter were ants, termites,
    spiders and dipteran larvae. Their foraging behaviour matched well with their gut contents and we made 1200 observations on plant matter and 80 observations on animal matter. During nesting period they foraged individually for shorter durations. Presence of roosting sites
    increased foraging activities.

  6. Strategie di foraggiamento del Chiurlo maggioreNumenius arquata  e differenze di successo alimentaretra sessi in un sito di svernamento dell’Italia centrale

    Trotta M.

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    8 49

    Foraging strategies of the Curlew Numenius arquata and differences in feeding success between sexes at wintering site in the
    Central of Italy.
    The foraging strategies and the difference of feeding success between sexes of the Curlew Numenius arquata were studied in a coastal
    region of Lazio (Pontine Lakes) in the period 1997-2001 (november to march). This species has been found in different habitats, however the data for this paper was collected in meadow-pastureland habitats. The pecking was the action used more often, the technique of
    digging and, to a lesser extent, of jabbing, were more effcient, particularly for the capturing of earthworms. The Curlew had a feeding
    success (prey/minute) on average of 1.41. The females obtained a little more feeding success. Since the bill of the female is considerably
    longer, this allows them to penetrate more the ground than males, capturing more prey. Whether feeding as single individuals or in small
    flocks, the foraging success was the same. The larger flocks have been observed in autumn and it appears that when they arrive, they chose
    areas with high food availability and, once exploited, they move to lesser-quality foraging areas.

  7. Distribuzione, consistenza ed evoluzione dellepopolazioni di basettino Panurus biarmicus nidifcanti in Italia nel periodo 1980-2006

    Brichetti P., Grattin N.

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    12 61

    Panurus biarmicus breeding population distribution, consistence, and trend in Italy. In Italy the bearded parrotbill Panurus
    biarmicus nests mainly in the eastern part of the Po Valley, with some localized populations near the lakes of Tuscany (Chiusi, Montepulciano, Massaciuccoli) and of Umbria (Colforito and Trasimeno); the southern limit of its breeding range is around the coastal wetlands in Apulia (Lago Salso). At present, 85% of the population is concentrated in three regions (Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Emilia
    Romagna), the remaining 15% being in Lombardy, Tuscany, Umbria and Apulia. After an expansion that began in the ’70s, in the late
    ’90s this species has experienced a decline both in the breeding range and in the number of individuals; these phenomena got worse in the
    early 2000. In the period 2003-2006 the breeding population in Italy was estimated at 590-840 pairs, whereas in the mid ’80s it had been
    estimated at 4,000-10,000 pairs (although we think these latter fgures were too high). The negative trend could be accounted for, at least
    locally, the loss of suitable habitat (i.e. the burning of reedbeds in late winter, changes in water levels, and, lately, by the heavy presence
    of Myocastor coypus, which causes changes in the extent and structure of reedbeds). Further studies are needed to better defne the causes
    of the sharp decline of Bearded Parrotbill in Italy.

  8. Composizione e struttura della comunità orniticanidificante in una faggeta della Basilicata

    Fulco E., Tellini Florenzano G.

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    10 76

    Structure and composition of the breeding-bird community of a beech forest in Basilicata (Southern Italy). In 2006 the breeding bird community in a beechwood located in the Mt. Sirino (Val d’Agri-Lagonegrese National Park, Basilicata) was investigated by
    point-count method (N=87). The sampling completeness was tested via permutational methods. In comparison with other beech-forests
    of Central and Southern Italy, the Mt. Sirino bird community showed high richness and diversity values. Two species (Middle spotted
    Woodpecker and Collared Flycatcher) are included in the Red List of Italian Birds and in annex I of 79/409/CEE Directive. Low densities
    of bark-feeding birds may depend on poor wood-management, or on the recent impact of tourism.

  9. I passeri Passer  spp.: da “problematici” a specie diinteresse conservazionistico

    Dinetti M.

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    10 68

    The Sparrows Passer spp.: from “pest species” to species of conservation concern. The House Sparrow Passer domesticus
    is closely linked to human settlements, and it is probably the most widespread passerine worldwide. However, in the last few years this
    species has been declining throughout Europe, particularly in urbanized areas, so that this species is now considered of conservation concern (SPEC-3). The situation is complex and differ amongst town and between urban and rural environment. In Italy the Italian Sparrow
    Passer italiae occupies the same ecological niche, whereas in Sicily and Sardinia lives the Spanish Sparrow Passer hispaniolensis. The
    estimate for the breeding population of the Italian Sparrow ranges from about 5 to 10 million pairs, the one for the urban population in
    the Italian peninsula from about 750,000 to 900,000 pairs, with a density from about 58 to 160 pairs per square kilometer. The available
    data from national monitoring show a decrease in the population indices between 2000 and 2005: Italian Sparrow -27.1%, Spanish Sparrow -38.5%, Tree Sparrow Passer montanus -10.1%. For the last ten years, data show a decrease in the urban populations of the Italian
    Sparrow till 50%, and this confrms the situation reported for the House Sparrow elsewhere in Europe. We discuss the possible causes
    of the decline that have been suggested so far both for Italy and for Europe: in rural areas mainly agricultural intensifcation; whilst in
    towns there are more potential reasons: food shortage (particularly insects to raise nestlings) in relation to reduction of green areas and to
    air pollution, reduced availability of suitable breeding sites, increased predation, competition for food with Feral Pigeons Columba livia
    forma domestica and other species, road mortality, window collisions, etc. The decline of common species should be of concern for conservation science. We suggest a monitoring programme with standardized census methods (territory mapping with plotting on 1:2000
    scale maps, quantitative urban bird atlas, line-transect lasting 30 minutes) be used by ornithologists, birdwatchers and citizen scientists.
    Sparrows are an umbrella species with a strong appeal to the public, and are good indicators of the quality of the urban environment, the
    habitat in which most of us now live.

  10. Bibliografa selezionata sulla Passera d’Italia Passer italiae

    Brichetti P.

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    15 34

    Selected bibliography on the Italian sparrow Passer italiae. 130 scientifc papers on the Italian Sparrow Passer italiae are presented in alphabetical order. These selected papers concern only the Italian territory, and span from 1900 to May 2008. Papers on anatomy and physiology are excluded.

  11. Cambiamenti nell’avifauna acquatica svernante nellaRiserva Naturale Regionale Tevere-Farfa (Lazio) trai periodi 1970-1983 e 1991-2005

    Brunelli M., Sorace A.,

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    12 39

    We compared the abundance of some waterbirds in
    the Natural Regional Reserve Tevere-Farfa (central Italy) between 1970-1983 and 1991-2005 periods. The Reserve includes
    two main wetlands: a lake area and a river area. The species feeding in the waters of the lake (Anas penelope, Anas acuta, Anas
    clypeata) decreased in numbers from the frst to the second period, likely due to instability of the lakebed and eutrophication
    processes. However, the decrease of Anas acuta, Anas clypeata
    also agrees with their negative trends in Europe. The species feeding in the waters of the Farfa river (Podiceps cristatus, Phalacrocorax carbo, Aythya ferina) increased in numbers. The increases of
    Podiceps cristatus, Phalacrocorax carbo and Larus michahellis
    can probably be related to the expansion of their breeding populations, in Italy and Europe. The increased number of Aythya ferina
    and Anas strepera disagrees with the negative trend of their populations in Europe. However, Italian wintering population of the
    latter species increased in the last years.

  12. Conferma della riproduzione del cuculo dal ciuffoClamator glandarius  in Sicilia

    Grenci S., Sarà M.

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    15 52

    Great Spotted Cuckoo breeding confrmation in Sicily. During the 2005/2007 spring, evidence of eight new breeding events were recorded in Southern Sicily. These new data add
    to the frst 2004 record. They are not evidence of accidental immigration but possibly signs of a future colonization of the island, that not only has a great number of suitable habitats for
    the species, but also hosts a large population of the Magpie (Pica pica)

  13. Il corvo imperiale Corvus corax  nidifca di nuovo in Umbria

    Magrini M., Armentano L., Gambaro C.

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    16 187

    The Raven Corvus corax became extinct in Umbria
    (Central Italy) about 1970. Since 2006 the authors found evidence
    of territorial and breeding activity of Ravens in a mountain area
    of the region in which the species has certainly been absent in the
    last decades. Two or three pairs of the species currently live in the
    area. After 35 years the Raven has to be considered again a breeding species in Umbria.

  14. Prime nidifcazioni di sterna comune Sterna hirundo in habitat di risaia in Italia

    Bordignon L., Carpegna F., Chiozzi G.

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    10 42

    First records of Common Tern Sterna hirundo breeding in a rice feld habitat in Italy. Rice felds (accounting for
    150,000,000 ha of cultivated area in the world) are becoming more and more important habitats for the conservation of waterbirds.
    Four pairs of Common Terns nested on the earth embankments
    of two rice felds in the Vercelli and Novara provinces. Nesting
    resulted in failing with the loss of newborn chicks in all cases.
    We point out the need to watch the expanding phenomenon of
    waterbirds breeding in rice felds (230,000 ha in Italy) on a national scale.

  15. Commissione Ornitologica Italiana (COI) - Report 21

    Brichetti P., Fracasso G., Janni O.

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    20 68
  16. Oltre Avocetta... l’ornitologia italiana su altre riviste

    Sorace A.

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    12 47