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Breeding success and reproductive behavior in a white stork (ciconia ciconia) colony in Ankara

Göcek, Çağrı
White Stork ( Ciconia ciconia, Linnaeus, 1758) is a summer visitor and passage migrant in Turkey. Although being widespread in summer near wetlands of Turkey, except for the eastern and western parts of the Black Sea Region, there has been no research on this species involving regular monitoring of nests. In this study, breeding success and survival of nestlings in a population in Kızılcahamam-Ankara as well as behavioral differences among nests and their probable consequences on breeding success were studied. Regular field observations throughout six-month long breeding seasons between 2003 and 2006 were carried out to determine parent and young behavior patterns at nest. Clutch size, and numbers of chicks hatched and fledged fluctuated throughout 2003-2006 for pairs that bred while fledgling success (average fledgling per successful nests with egg laid) were 2.63 in 2003, 3.82 in 2004, 1.89 in 2005 and 3.13 in 2006. These values are in good agreement with those recorded in northern Europe. The relationship between beginning date of incubation and both clutch size and brood size were found to be different for 2004 and 2005. Such a relationship may be significant in breeding seasons colder than usual. For 2004 and 2005, the amount of food brought and caring towards young by parents were compared with breeding success (proportion of hatched young that were fledged), and breeding success was found to increase with increasing amount of food provisioning. However, this result may be suggested to be related with weather conditions. In conclusion, Kızılcahamam White Stork population has been found to be not restricted by food or nest site availability and with a reproductive output above the European average, although annual climatic stochasticity was found to affect reproductive output.