ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

This work focused on monitoring the reproductive phenology of the chaffinch Fringilla coelebs africana for two successive seasons (2016 and 2017) in the mountains of the El Kala National Park (North East Algeria). We searched for nests in the tree stratum or by direct observation of breeding pairs carrying building materials from mid-March to the end of June and found a total of 34 nests that were measured without affecting the breeding process. The results show that nests were built at an average height of 6.3m from the ground. The laying period was 46 days (Early April to mid-May) and the average laying date was May 2. The mean of clutch size is 3.2 eggs per brood. All the previous traits are similar to those recorded in Europe. The mean hatching success rate was 43.1% and the average breeding success rate was 36.3%. These two values are relatively low compared to those found in European populations.
Content may be subject to copyright.
109
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
ISSN: 16980476
© [2019] Copyright belongs to the authors, who license the journal Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica to publish the
paper under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License, which permits its distribution, and reproduction
in any medium, provided the original authors and source, the journal Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, are cited.
El © [2018] del artículo pertenece al autor o autores; estos autorizan a la revista Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica la
publicación del artículo bajo la licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento 4.0 que permite un uso no restringido,
la distribución y la reproducción en cualquier medio, siempre que se citen los autores y la revista.
Breeding biology
of the chafnch
Fringilla coelebs africana
in the El Kala National Park
(North East Algeria)
K. Ramdani, M. Kouidri, M. L. Ouakid, M. Houhamdi
K. Ramdani, K., Kouidri, M. , Ouakid, M. L., Houhamdi, M., 2019. Breeding biology of the
chafnch Fringilla coelebs africana in the El Kala National Park (North East Algeria). Arxius
de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17: 109–121, Doi: https://doi.org/10.32800/amz.2019.17.0109
Abstract
Breeding biology of the chafnch Fringilla coelebs africana in the El Kala National Park (North
East Algeria). This work focused on monitoring the reproductive phenology of the Chafnch
Fringilla coelebs africana for two successive seasons (2016 and 2017) in the mountains of
the El Kala National Park (North East Algeria). We searched for nests in the tree stratum
or by direct observation of breeding pairs carrying building materials from mid–March to
the end of June and found a total of 34 nests that were measured without affecting the
breeding process. The results show that nests were built at an average height of 6.3 m from
the ground. The laying period was 46 days (Early April to mid–May) and the average laying
date was May 2. The mean of clutch size is 3.2 eggs per brood. All the previous traits are
similar to those recorded in Europe. The mean hatching success rate was 43.1 % and the
average breeding success rate was 36.3 %. These two values are relatively low compared
to those found in European populations.
Key words: Fringilla coelebs africana, El Kala National Park, North–east Algeria, Reproduc-
tive phenology, Reproductive success
Resumen
Biología reproductiva del pinzón Fringilla coelebs africana en el Parque Nacional de El Kala
(Noreste de Argelia). Este trabajo se centró en el seguimiento de la fenología reproductiva
del pinzón Fringilla coelebs africana durante dos temporadas consecutivas (2016 y 2017) en
las montañas del Parque Nacional de El Kala (noreste de Argelia). Se buscaron nidos en el
estrato arbóreo o por observación directa de parejas reproductoras que llevaban materiales
de construcción desde mediados de marzo hasta nales de junio y se encontró un total
de 34 nidos que fueron medidos sin afectar al proceso de reproducción. Los resultados
muestran que los nidos se construyen a una altura media de 6,3 m del suelo. El período
de puesta es de 46 días (de principios de abril a mediados de mayo) y la fecha media de
puesta es el 2 de mayo. El tamaño medio de la puesta es de 3,2 huevos por nidada. Todos
los rasgos anteriores son similares a los registrados en Europa. La tasa media de éxito de
eclosión es del 43,1 % y la tasa media de éxito reproductor del 36,3 %. Estos dos valores
son relativamente bajos en comparación con los de las poblaciones europeas.
110
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
Palabras clave: Fringilla coelebs africana, Parque Nacional de El Kala, Noreste de Argelia,
Fenología de la reproducción, Éxito reproductivo
Resum
Biologia reproductiva del pinsà Fringilla coelebs africana al Parc Nacional d'El Kala (nord–
est d'Algèria). Aquest treball es va centrar en el seguiment de la fenologia reproductiva
del pinsà Fringilla coelebs africana durant dues temporades consecutives (2016 i 2017)
a les muntanyes del Parc Nacional d'El Kala (nord–est d'Algèria). Es van buscar nius a
l’estrat arbori o per observació directa de parelles reproductores que portaven materials
de construcció des de mitjan març ns a la de juny i es van trobar un total de 34 nius
que van ser mesurats sense afectar el procés de reproducció. Els resultats mostren que
els nius es construeixen a una altura mitjana de 6,3 m de terra. El període de posta és
de 46 dies (des del començament d’abril a mitjan maig) i la data mitjana de la posta és
el 2 de maig. La grandària mitjana de la posta és de 3,2 ous per niuada. Tots els trets
anteriors són similars als registrats a Europa. La taxa mitjana d’èxit d’eclosió és del 43,1 %
i la taxa mitjana d'èxit reproductor del 36,3 %. Aquests dos valors són relativament baixos
en comparació amb els de les poblacions europees.
Paraules clau: Fringilla coelebs africana, Parc Nacional d'El Kala, Nord–est d'Algèria, Fe-
nologia de la reproducció, Èxit reproductiu
Received: 29/04/2019; Conditional acceptance: 04/06/2019; Final acceptance: 20/06/2019
Kamel Ramdani, Moussa Houhamdi, Biology, Water and Environment Laboratory (LBEE),
Department of Ecology and Environmental Engineering, Faculty SNV–STU, University 8 Mai
1945 Guelma, BP 401 24000 Guelma, Algeria.– Mohamed Kouidri, Desertication and Climate
Team, Mechanical Laboratory, Amar Telidji–Laghouat University, Algeria.– Mohamed Laïd
Ouakid, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, BadjiMokhtar–Annaba University, Algeria.
Corresponding author: Moussa Houhamdi. E–mail: houhamdi.moussa@univ–guelma.dz/
houhamdimoussa@yahoo.fr
Kamel Ramdani: https://orcid.org/0000–0002–3754–6563
Mohamed Kouidri: https://orcid.org/0000–0003–0558–4829
Mohamed Laïd Ouakid: https://orcid.org/0000–0002–5957–2228
Moussa Houhamdi: https://orcid.org/0000–0002–4644–8906
Introduction
The family Fringillidae has 31 species in the Western Palearctic (Beaman and Madge, 1998).
They are small or relatively small granivorous birds with short, strong beaks and generally
undulating ight and sexual dimorphism (Cramp and Perrins, 1994; Beaman and Madge,
1998). Among these species is the chafnch Fringilla coelebs africana, which nests in North
Africa. It is a passerine, granivorous in winter and insectivore during the breeding season
(Cramp and Perrins, 1994). The chafnch breeds throughout the Palearctic (Cramp and
Perrins, 1994). It occupies a variety of habitats but prefers wooded areas (forests, parks,
hedges and gardens) (Newton, 1967; Cramp and Perrins, 1994; Macleod and al., 2014).
This species, like other Fringillidae, nests either in 'loose colonies' or solitary, but it is not
territorial (Newton, 1967).
The nesting area of the North African subspecies of chafnch covers eastern Morocco to
the west of Tunisia (Etchecopar and Hüe, 1964; Svensson, 2015) and northeastern Libya
111
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
Fig. 1. Location of study stations in El Kala National Park.
Fig. 1. Ubicación de las estaciones de estudio en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
Parc Animalier de Brabtia El Kala
@ 2018 Google
Image @ 2019 CNES / Airbus
Image @ 2019 DigitalGlobe
(Svensson, 2015). According to Heim De Balsac (1926), this subspecies in Algeria is settled
from the sea to the forested areas of the Saharan Atlas.
This work aimed to characterize the breeding parameters of North African subspecies
of the Chafnch Fringilla coelebs aricana. Specically, we aimed to determine nest cha-
racteristics, laying date, clutch size, egg characteristics, incubation time, hatching success
and reproductive success in a Mediterranean coastal area of north–eastern Algeria. We
compared the values found in this locality with others reported for other areas within the
large geographic distribution of the species
Material and methods
Study site
The study was carried out in north–eastern Algeria, in a cork oak Quercus suber forest at
an altitude of 30 m, (36º 53' N; 08º 30' E) (g. 1). The climate is Mediterranean with a hot
and dry season between May and November. It is humid and rainy the rest of the year.
Rainfall reaches 1000 mm per year (Benyacoub and Chabi, 2000).
The study site corresponds to three stations, two of which (Stations 1 and 2) are loca-
ted in the Brabtia area and the third is located in the cork oak forest, upstream from the
northern shore of Lake Oubeira. The most recent res at the rst two stations occurred
in 2000, while a re at the site of the third station occurred in 2008. The study stations
have a mixed habitat, consisting of a monospecic tree stratum (g. 2), composed mainly
of Quercus suber, with an average height of 7 m. The undergrowth is mainly composed of
Phillyrea augustifolia, Pistacia lentiscus, Mirtus communis, Rubus ulmifolius, Calycotome
villosa, Crataegus monogyna and Erica arborea, with a height between 0.5 m and 2 m.
112
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
The herbaceous stratum is relatively rare because of the density of the undergrowth. It is
composed of Asphodelus microcarpus, Chamaerops humilis and Urginea maritima.
Methodology
Sampling consisted of a systematic search for nests in vegetation (tree stratum) and by
observing breeding pairs carrying building materials (Drachmann et al., 1997, 2002; Kouidri
et al., 2012; Macleod et al., 2014). A good proportion were also found accidentally, while
team members were walking near nests, causing the females to y off (Kouidri et al., 2012,
2016; Bensouilah et al., 2014, 2016; Brahmia et al., 2015; Ka et al., 2015; Zeraoula et al.,
2015). Once the nests were identied, we monitored and recorded breeding parameters
such as laying date, clutch size, incubation time, hatching, ight, and breeding success. The
biometric parameters of the nests (height above the ground, internal and external diameter,
height and depth of the cutting and its weight) were measured just after the young edged.
Egg measurements were also taken, namely the length and width of the eggs, measured
using the caliper with an accuracy of 0.01 mm and the egg mass, using an electronic
scale with an accuracy of 0.1 g. The egg volume was calculated according to the formula
developed by Hoyt (1979):
V = 0.51 * L * B2
Nesting monitoring parameters were recorded twice a week to avoid disturbance to breeding
pairs. Statistical analysis (descriptive statistics; one–way analysis of variance) to compare
the different parameters between two breeding seasons and the correlation coefcient to
analyze the links between the different parameters) was carried out using Statistix software,
version 8.
Fig. 2. Matorral dominated
by Quercus suber (Original
picture, K. Ramdani).
Fig. 2. Matorral con árboles
(Quercus suber). (Foto orig-
inal, K. Ramdani).
113
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
Results
Nest characteristics
Thirty–four nests were identied during the two study seasons. The nests were mainly
installed on two plant species: 67.6 % of the nests on Quercus suber and 32.4 % on Olea
europaea. They were built at an average height of 6.28 m above the ground, between 3.5
and 9 m (table 1). The difference in average nest height between the two seasons was
signicant (F1.32= 7.70; p = 0.009; HS**) (table 1). The nests were installed higher in the
second season (2017).
The average external and internal diameters of the nests were 8.87 cm and 6.01 cm re-
spectively. The average height and depth of the cups was 5.94 cm and 5.52 cm respectively.
The average thickness of the cup was 1.86 cm and its average mass was 14.70 g (table 2).
For nest building, the chafnch used lichens, predominantly Xautharia parietina. Fresh
mosses such as Funaria hygrometica, and strands, hairs and feathers were also used (g. 3).
Table 1. Construction support and nest height of the chafnch Fringilla coelebs
africana in El Kala National Park.
Tabla 1. Construcción del soporte y altura del nido del pinzón arbóreo Fringilla
coelebs africana en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
Vegetation Nest height (m)
Year Quercus suber Olea europaea n; mean ± SD (min–max)
2016 09 (90 %) 01 (10 %) n = 10; 05.20 ± 01.11 (3.5–7)
2017 14 (58.30 %) 10 (41.70 %) n = 24; 06.73 ± 01.58 (4–9)
Mean 23 (67.60 %) 11 (32.40 %) n = 34; 06.28 ± 01.60 (3.5–9)
One–way ANOVA F1,32 = 7.70; p = 0.009; HS**
Table 2. Characteristics of the nests of Fringilla coelebs africana in El Kala National Park.
Tabla 2. Características de los nidos del pinzón arbóreo Fringilla coelebs africana
en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
Characteristics n; mean ± SD (min–max)
Weight (g) 16; 14.70 ± 8.40 (7.10–30.20)
Cup height (cm) 16; 5.94 ± 0.52 (5.05–6.46)
Internal diameter (cm) 16; 6.01 ± 1.13 (4.58–7.55)
External diameter (cm) 16; 8.87 ± 1.57 (6.41–10.45)
Cup thickness (cm) 16; 1.86 ± 0.34 (1.47–2.42)
Depth (cm) 16; 5.52 ± 1.18 (4.47–7.21)
114
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
Date and period of laying
The laying period lasted 7 weeks: from the second week of April (12 April) to the end of
May (27 May), a laying period of 46 days, with a high frequency during the rst 4 weeks
of breeding (12 April–09 May; g. 4). The average laying date was May 2 (31.52 ± 11.39).
There were no signicant differences between the two years regarding the average laying
dates (F1.32 = 0.81; p = 0.375; NS).
Fig. 4. Egg laying chronology of the chafnch (2016–2017) in El Kala National Park.
Fig. 4. Cronología de la puesta de huevos del pinzón arbóreo (2016–2017) en el
Parque Nacional El Kala.
Fig. 3. A, chafnch nest and egg; B, chafnch chicks. (Original picture, K. Ramdani).
Fig. 3. A, nido y huevos del pinzón arbóreo; b, pollos del pinzón arbóreo. (Foto ori-
ginal, K. Ramdani).
12
8
4
0
Frequency
12 19 26 33 40 47 54 61
Laying date (1 = 1 April)
115
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
Clutch size
The average clutch size was 3.18 ± 0.90 eggs per brood. No signicant differences were
observed in the average egg laying size between the two seasons (F1.32 = 0.53; p = 0.471;
NS). The most frequent spawnings were those of 3 and 4 eggs per nest, representing
44.1 % (15 nests) and 41.2 % (14 nests) respectively (g. 5).
We did not record a signicant relationship between egg laying date and egg laying
size (r = –0.148; p = 0.402; NS), and the number of eggs laid did not decrease during the
breeding season.
Egg characteristics
The average egg mass was 2.16 ± 0.27 g, varying between 1.7 and 2.70 g. There was
signicant difference between the average egg mass in the two seasons (F1.106 = 6.83;
p = 0.010), this being higher in 2016. The average length of the eggs was 19.74 ± 1.06 mm,
varying between 17.8 and 23 mm. There was no signicant difference between the average
egg length between the two seasons (F1.106 = 1; p = 0.319; NS). The average egg width was
14.76 ± 0.51 mm, ranging between 13.79 and 16.35 mm. There as no signicant difference
between the average egg width between the two seasons (F1.106 = 1.14; p = 0.289; NS). The
average volume of eggs was 2.20 ± 0.21 cm3, ranging between 1.74 and 2.85 cm3. The
average egg volume showed no signicant difference between the two seasons (F1.106 = 1.78;
p = 0.185; NS) (table 3).
Incubation time
The average incubation period was 13.65 ± 0.81 days, ranging between 12 and 15 days.
The two seasons showed no signicant difference regarding the average incubation time
(F1.18 = 1.25; p = 0.278; NS) (table 4).
Date of hatching
The average hatching date was May 11 (41.25 ± 12.05), ranging from April 21 to June
09. There was no signicant difference between the two seasons regarding the average
hatching date (F1.18 = 1.34; p = 0.263; NS) (table 5).
Frequency
1 2 3 4
Laying size
Fig. 5. Clutch size of the chafnch (2016–2017) in El Kala National Park.
Fig. 5. Tamaño de la puesta del pinzón arbóreo (2016–2017) en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
15
10
5
0
116
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
Table 3. Traits of the chafnch eggs (n; mean ± SD (min–max)) in El Kala National Park.
Tabla 3. Características de los huevos (n; media ± DE (min–max)) del pinzón arbóreo
en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
Egg characteristics
Year Weight (g) Length (mm) Width (mm) Volume (cm3)
2016 30; 2.27 ± 0.29 30; 19.90 ± 1.11 30; 14.85 ± 0.58 30; 2.24 ± 0.24
(1.8–2.7) (18.07–21.83) (14.02–16.35) (1.85–2.85)
2017 78; 2.12 ± 0.25 78; 19.67 ± 1.05 78; 14.73 ± 0.48 78; 2.18 ± 0.20
(1.7–2.7) (17.8–23) (13.79–16.35) (1.74–2.85)
Mean 108; 2.16 ± 0.27 108; 19.74 ± 1.06 108; 14.76 ± 0.51 108; 2.20 ± 0.21
(1.7–2.7) (17.8–23) (13.79–16.35) (1.74–2.85)
One–way F1.106= 6.83; F1.106= 1; F1.106= 1,14; F1.106= 1,78;
ANOVA p = 0.010 p = 0.319; NS p = 0,289; NS p = 0.185; NS
Table 4. Variation in incubation time (n; mean ± SD (min–max)) between the two
seasons in El Kala National Park.
Tabla 4. Variación del tiempo de incubación (n; media ± DE (min–max)) entre los
dos periodos de estudio en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
Year Incubation time (day)
2016 5; 14 ± 0.71 (13–15)
2017 15; 13.53 ± 0.84 (12–15)
Mean 20; 13.65 ± 0.81 (12–15)
One–way ANOVA F1.18= 1.25; p = 0.278; NS
Table 5. Variation in the hatching date (n; mean ± SD (min–max)) between the two
seasons in El Kala National Park.
Tabla 5. Variación de la fecha de eclosión (n; media ± DE (min–max)) entre los dos
periodos de estudio en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
Year Date of hatching (day)
2016 5; 46.6 ± 15.08 (3 May–9 June)
2017 15; 36.47 ± 10.89 (21 April–29 May)
Mean 20; 41.25 ± 12.05 (21 April–9 June)
One–way ANOVA F1.18= 1.34; p = 0.263; NS
117
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
Success at hatching
The average hatching success was 43.06 ± 42.20 %, ranging between 0 and 100 %. There
was no signicant difference between the two seasons regarding the average hatching
success (F1.32 = 1.58; p = 0.218; NS) (table 6).
Young in ight
The average number of young at ight was 1.29 ± 1.59 per clutch, ranging between 0 and
4 per clutch. There was no signicant difference between the average number of young in
the two seasons (F1.32 = 0.87; p = 0.358; NS) (table 7).
Reproductive success
The average reproductive success rate was 36.27 ± 44.42 %, ranging from 0 to 100 %. There
was no signicant difference between the two seasons regarding the average reproductive
success (F1.32 = 0.78; p = 0.384; NS) (table 8).
Table 6. Successful hatching (n; mean ± SD (min–max)) in the reproductive seasons
in El Kala National Park.
Tabla 6. Porcentaje de eclosión (n; media ± DE (min–max)) en los dos periodos de
cría en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
Year Successful hatching (%)
2016 10; 29.10 ± 36.26 (0–100)
2017 24; 48.88 ± 43.83 (0–100)
Mean 34; 43.06 ± 42.20 (0–100)
One–way ANOVA F1.32 = 1.58; p = 0.218; NS
Table 7. Variation in the number of young at ight per brood (n; mean ± SD (min–
max)) between the two seasons in El Kala National Park.
Tabla 7. Variación en el número de volantones por nido (n; media ± DE (min–max))
entre los dos periodos de cría en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
Year Numberof youngat ightper brood
2016 10; 0.90 ± 1.29 (0–3)
2017 24; 1.46 ± 1.69 (0–4)
Mean 34; 1.29 ± 1.57 (0–4)
One–way ANOVA F1.32 = 0.87; p = 0.358; NS
118
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
Discussion
The subspecies of chafnch Fringilla coelebs africana builds its nest on branches or several
thin twigs (Heim De Balsac, 1926; Etchecopar and Hüe, 1964; Cramp and Perrins, 1994;
Ramdani, 2007) in diverse habitats: particularly trees (both conifers and deciduous, and
even palm trees), hedges (Macleod et al., 2014), and olive shrubs (Mestari et al., 2013). We
observed that the nests were mainly built on two plant species: cork oak and olive trees.
We found that the nest building material in our region was generally similar to that de-
scribed for Europe (Cramp and Perrins, 1994) and Algeria (Ramdani, 2007).
The nest height recorded in our study was comparable to those mentioned in several
previous studies: in Spain (Canary Islands) (5.1 m) (Cramp and Perrins, 1994) and north-
eastern Algeria (El Kala National Park) (5.83 m) (Ramdani, 2007), and is relatively high
compared to those reported by (Cramp and Perrins, 1994) in the southwest of Germany
(4.4 m) and east of Germany (1.8 m–2.5 m) and Poland (3.9 m).
The characteristics of the nests (external and internal diameter, height and depth of the
cup) in our study were similar to those cited in Poland (Cramp and Perrins, 1994) and in
north–east Algeria (El Kala National Park) (Ramdani, 2007) (table 9).
The laying date of the North African subspecies was comparable to that reported in
European regions (subspecies: Fringilla coelebs coelebs) (Cramp and Perrins, 1994),
but the laying period was relatively shorter than that reported for Great Britain (late April
to mid–June and mid–March to mid–July; with regional variation), Western Russia (early
Table 8. ariation in the number of young at ight per brood (n; mean ± SD (min–
max)) between the two seasons in El Kala National Park.
Tabla 8. Éxito de la reproducción (n; media ± DE (min–max)) entre los dos periodos
de estudio en el Parque Nacional El Kala.
Year Reproductive success (%)
2016 10; 25.80 ± 37.35 (0–100)
2017 24; 40.63 ± 47.10 (0–100)
Mean 34; 36.27 ± 44.42 (0–100)
One–way ANOVA F1.32 = 0.78; p = 0.384; NS
Table 9. Measurements (mean) of the chafnch nests.
Tabla 9. Medidas (media) de los nidos del pinzón arbóreo.
Parameters Poland North–East Algeria
Cup heights (cm) 7.1 5.94
Internal diameters (cm) 5.3 6.01
External diameters (cm) 9 8.87
Depths (cm) 4 5.52
119
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
May to early July and late May to early July), Germany (early April to mid–July) (Cramp
and Perrins, 1994), and the Czech Republic (early April to early July) (Weidinger, 2001)
and similar to that reported in Northeast Algeria (early April to mid–May) (Ramdani, 2007).
This variation is related to factors such as latitude, altitude and habitat type (Zang, 1982;
Berndt et al., 1983; Chabi et al., 1995; Chabi and Isenmann, 1997; Brahmia et al., 2013;
Kouidri et al., 2015). Populations living in northern latitudes breed later than those living
in the southern regions.
The recorded clutch size of the North African subspecies is similar to that of populations
(North African subspecies) in Northwest Africa (3.9 eggs/clutch) (Cramp and Perrins, 1994)
and North East Algeria (3.22 eggs/clutch) (Ramdani, 2007) and relatively small compared
to European populations (subspecies: Fringilla coelebs coelebs): Britain (4.3 eggs/clutch);
Finland (4.7 eggs/clutch); France (4 to 5 eggs/clutch); Czechoslovakia and Western Russia
(4.64 eggs/clutch) (Newton, 1964; Cramp and Perrins, 1994) and Czech Republic (4.77; 4.34
and 4.80 eggs/clutch) (Weidinger, 2001). The latter can lay up to 7 eggs/clutch (Newton,
1964). This variation is linked to several factors, particularly the quality of the habitat or
territory, the availability of trophic resources, and the general quality of the female (physi-
ology, experience, etc.) (Lack, 1954; Newton, 1964; Lambrechts et al., 1997; Chabi, 1998;
Christians, 2002).
The characteristics of eggs are comparable to those mentioned in many studies in Europe
(Cramp and Perrins, 1994) and North Africa (Heim De Balsac, 1926; Etchecopar and Hüe,
1964; Ramdani, 2007) (table 10).
The incubation period of eggs for the North African subspecies is similar to that of Eu-
ropean populations (subspecies: Fringilla coelebs coelebs). It varies from 9 to 16 days with
an average of 12.6 days (Newton, 1964).
The number of eggs hatched in our study area is signicantly lower than that observed by
Mestari et al. (2013) in an olive grove in Tlemcen (Western Algeria). However, ight success
and reproductive success are low in our region compared to gures reported by (Mestari
et al., 2013), but they are relatively close to those reported by (Cramp and Perrins, 1994).
The failure rates observed during the breeding period, between egg hatch and young ight,
could be the result of several factors, namely, egg infertility, frequent human disturbances
at the site (nest vandalism) and predation (Malpolon monspessulanus, Larcerta pater, Mus
spretus, Genetta genetta).
This study is the rst to characterize the breeding activity of the North–African subspecies
of the chafnch, Fringilla coelebs Africana. Further work is needed to better understand its
dynamics, such as analysis of food availability and composition of the diet of chicks and
study of the inuence of parasitism on the population and its effect on reproductive success.
Table 10. Measurements (n; mean) of the chafnch eggs.
Tabla 10. Medidas (n; media) de los huevos del pinzón arbóreo.
Length (cm) Width (cm) Weight (g)
F. c coelebs 1.93–2.28 1.46–1.55
F. c. gengleri 121; 1.99 121; 1.47 21; 2.24
F. c. africana 101; 2.07 101; 1.52 101; 2.61
56; 1.98 56; 1.48 56; 2.15
F. c. maderensis 40; 2.21 40; 1.55 40; 2.78
120
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
References
Beaman, M., Madge, S., 1998. Guide en cyclopédique des oiseaux du paléarctique occi-
dental. Edition Nathan, Paris, France.
Bensouilah, T., Brahmia, H., Zeraoula, A., Bouslama, Z., Houhamdi, M., 2014. Breeding
biology of the European Greennch Chloris chloris in the loquat orchards of Algeria (North
Africa). Zoology and Ecology, 4(2): 1–9.
2016. Variation in nest placement by the European Greennch Chloris chloris in relation
to the age of orange trees. Zoology and Ecology, 26(1): 9–14.
Benyacoub, S., Chabi, Y., 2000. Diagnose écologique de l’avifaune du Parc National d’El–
Kala. Synthèse N° 7, Publication de l’Université d’Annaba, Algérie.
Benyacoub, S., Louanchi, M., Baba Ahmed, R., Benhouhou, S., Boulahbal, R., Chalabi,
B., Haou, F., Rouag, R., Ziane, N., 1998. Plan directeur de gestion du parc national d’El
Kala et du complexe de zones humides (Willaya d’El Tarf). Algérie.
Berndt, R., Winkel, W., Zang, H., 1983. Über Legebeginn und Gelegestiirke von Kohl– und
Blaumeise Parus major, P.caeruleus in Beziehung zur geographischen Lage des Bru-
tortes. Vogelwarte, 32: 46–56.
Brahmia, Z., Scheier, R., Crini, N., Maas, S., Giraudoux, P., Benyacoub, S., 2013. Breed-
ing performance of blue tits Cyanistes caeuleus ultramarinus in relation to lead pollution
and nest failure rates in rural, intermediate, and urban sites in Algeria. Envir. Pollut,
174: 171–178.
Brahmia, H., Zeraoula, A., Bensouilah, T., Bouslama, Z., Houhamdi, M., 2015. Breeding
biology of sympatric Laughing Streptopelia senegalensis and Turtle Streptopelia turtur
Dove: a comparative study in northeast. Zoology and Ecology, 25(3): 220–226.
Chabi, Y., 1998. Biologie de la reproduction des Mésanges dans les chênaies du Nord–est
de l‘Algérie. PhD thesis, Université d’Annaba, Algérie. [In French].
Chabi, Y., Benyacoub, S., Isenmann, P., Samraoui, B., 1995. Breeding Ecology of the
North–African Blue Tit Parus caeruleus ultramarinus in Two Semi–Evergreen Oak Forests
in Algeria. Revue d’Ecologie (Terre et Vie), 50: 133–140.
Chabi, Y., Isenmann, P., 1997. La reproduction de la Mésange bleue Parus caeruleus ul-
tramarinus dans les subéraies Quercus suber à différentes altitudes en Algérie. Alauda,
1: 13–18.
Christians, J. K., 2002. Avian egg size: variation within species and inexibility within indi-
viduals. Biol. Rev. Camb. Philos. Soc., 77: 1–26.
Cramp, S., Perrins, C. M., 1994. The birds of the Western Palearctic, vol VIII. Oxford Uni-
versity Press, Oxford, New York.
Drachmann, J., Broberg, M. M., Søgaard, P., 2002. Nest predation and semicolonial breeding
in Linnets Carduelis cannabina. Bird Study, 49: 35–41.
Drachmann, J., Komdeur, J., Boomsma J. J., 1997. Copulation behaviour in the Linnet
Carduelis cannabina and the insemination window hypothesis. Journal of Avian Biol.,
28: 191–196.
Etchecopar, R. D., Hüe, F., 1964. Les oiseaux du Nord de l’Afrique. Ed. N. Boubée et Cie,
Paris.
Heim De Balsac, H., 1926. L’Ornithologie du Sahara central et du Sud–Algérien. Mémoires
de la Société d’Histoire Naturelle de L’Afrique du Nord. Edition La typo-litho, Alger.
Hoyt, D. F., 1979. Practical methods of estimating volume and fresh weight of bird eggs.
The Auk, 96: 73–77.
Ka, F., Hanane, S., Bensouilah, T., Zeraoula, A., Brahmia, H., Houhamdi, M., 2015. Les
facteurs déterminant le succès de la reproduction des Tourterelles des bois (Streptopelia
turtur) dans un milieu agricole nord–africain. Revue d’Ecologie (Terre et Vie), 70(3):
271–279.
Kouidri, M., Adamou, A. E., Bańbura, A., Ouakid, M. L., Chabi, Y., Bańbura, J., 2015. High
121
Arxius de Miscel·lània Zoològica, 17 (2019): 109–121 Ramdani et al.
egg size variation in African Blue Tits Cyanistes caeruleus ultramarinus on the periphery
of species range. Acta Ornithol, 50(2): 205–212.
Kouidri, M., Adamou, A. E., Madhi, L., Ouakid, M. L., Libois, R., 2016. Données numériques
sur la reproduction du Verdier d’Europe Carduelis chloris dans la région de Djebel amour
(Atlas saharien, Algérie). Alauda, 84(2): 105–110.
Kouidri, M., Ouakid, M. L., Houhamdi, M., 2012. Biologie de la reproduction de la Linotte mé-
lodieuse Carduelis cannabina dans l’Atlas saharien (Aou, Algérie). Alauda, 80: 117–124.
Lack, D., 1954. The natural regulation of animal numbers. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Lambrechts, M. M., Blondel, J., Maistre M., Perret, P., 1997. A single response mechanism
is responsible for evolutionary adaptive variation in a bird’s laying date. Proc. Natl Acad.
Sci., USA, 94: 5153–5155.
Macleod, C. J., Parish, D. M. B., Hubbard, S. F., 2014. Habitat associations and breeding
success of the Chafnch Fringilla coelebs: Capsule Population trends for Chafnch on
farmland are unlikely to be explained by their preference for non–crop habitats alone.
Bird Study, 51(3): 239–247.
Mestari, M., Khelil, M. A., Reynaud, P. A., Mesli, L., 2013. Suivi de reproduction des espèces
oiseaux nichant sur les vergers d’olivier de la wilaya de Tlemcen (Nord–ouest Algérien).
Rev. Ecol. Envir, 9: 1–6.
Newton, I., 1964. The breeding biology of the Chafnch, Bird Study, 11(1): 47–68.
1967. The adaptive radiation and feeding ecology of some British nches. Ibis, 109:
33–98.
Ramdani, K., 2007. Etude de la biologie de deux espèces de passereaux: le Pinson des
arbres Fringilla coelebs et la Fauvette mélanocéphale Sylvia melanocephala dans une
subéraie du Nord–est Algérien. PhD thesis, Université Badji Mokhtar–Annaba, Algérie.
[In French].
Svensson, L., 2015. A now African subspecies of Common Chafnch Fringilla coelebs. Bull.
B.O.C., 135(1): 69–76.
Weidinger, K., 2001. Laying dates and clutch size of open-nesting passerines in the Czech
Republic: a comparison of systematically and incidentally collected data. Bird Study,
48: 38–47.
Zang, H., 1982. Der einuß der Höhenlage auf siedlungsdichte und brutbiologie höhle–
brütender singvögel in Harz. Journal für Ornithologie, 121: 371–386.
Zeraoula, A., Bensouilah, T., Brahmia, H., Bouslama, Z., Houhamdi M., Kerfouf, A., 2015.
Breeding biology of the European Blackbird Turdus merula in orange orchards. Journal
of King Saud University–Sciences, 28: 300–307.
... The chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs Linnaeus, 1758) is a common insectivorous bird and a principal contributor to forest ecosystem communities of the temperate climate zone (Browne, 2004;Amar et al., 2006;Baillie et al., 2006;Domokos & Domokos, 2016;Ramdani et al., 2019). It is also a migrant of global conservation concern (Bern Convention) and studies on the foraging ecology of the species will defini-tely assist in its conservation. ...
... It is also a migrant of global conservation concern (Bern Convention) and studies on the foraging ecology of the species will defini-tely assist in its conservation. It has been already revealed that habitat conditions of the chaffinch are crucial for the successful breeding and stability of its population in forests of England (Whittingham et al., 2001;Macleod et al., 2004), Turkey, Germany (Bergen & Abs, 1997;Batary et al., 2014), Sweden (Felton et al., 2016), Romania (Domokos & Domokos, 2016), Spain (Moreno-Rueda & Pizarro, 2009;Peris & Montelongo, 2014) and North East Algeria (Ramdani et al., 2019). The role of artificial light and noise for the finches when they search for food has also been studied (Quinn et al., 2006;Kempenaers et al., 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
The сhaffinch (Fringilla coelebs Linnaeus, 1758; Passeriformes, Fringillidae) is one of the most colourful forest species of birds living in Europe, West Asia and North Africa. The diet of this species was studied as a contribution to the conservation of the population of this species in transformed forests of the northeastern part of Ukraine. Four forest ecosystems were studied: three model sites in oak forests, transformed under intensive recreation pressure, and one model site in a pine-oak forest. A total of 39 invertebrate taxa, dominated by Insecta (93.0%) were found. The orders Coleoptera (32.6%) and Lepi-doptera (63.5%) prevailed in the diet of finch nestlings, the highest number of taxa (52.3-76.2%) was represented by phyto-phages. The phytophagous species also constituted the majority of the consumed prey items (44.0-55.6%). Environmental conditions provided an important effect on the diet structure. The most favourable foraging conditions for the species were found in protected natural areas. According to the analysis, the finch foraging efficiency was similar in all the studied sites. The highest biodiversity indices were found in a protected area of Homilshanski Forests National Nature Park. Results of the research have indicated the crucial role of Fringilla coelebs in the population management of potentially dangerous agricultural pests.
... The failure rate of all these hatchings is associated with external or internal factors, resulting from the breeding area of the species. Ramdani, Kouidri, Ouakid, Houhamdi (2019) reported that, the hatching failures of eggs in birds are due to egg infertility, nest vandalism and nest predation (for grebes the main predators are snakes Natrix maura). ...
Article
Full-text available
In this current study, we examine the abundances and breeding phenology of three sympatric grebes (little, great crested and black-necked grebes) in Dayet El Ferd. These grebes were observed during all the period (2011-2018) in this wetland, except in September when the great crested grebe leaves the region. The abundances of these three grebes show a significant difference. In 2017, the total number of 71 nests was measured. The mean clutch size was 5.23 ± 1.49 eggs per nest. The highest number of eggs per nest was ten eggs, and most nests contained three eggs (N=18)
Article
Full-text available
Cette nouvelle livraison de nos ‘Eléments de bibliographie ornithologique marocaine’ regroupe une sélection d’articles traitant de l’avifaune du Maroc. Parmi ceux-ci, nous avons distingué, comme dans les livraisons précédentes, ceux traitant spécifiquement de ce pays de ceux de portée plus générale mais concernant aussi le Maroc. Un résumé informatif suit certains d’entre eux, en particulier lorsque le titre n’exprime pas de façon évidente le lien avec le Maroc. Un troisième paragraphe présente une sélection de travaux récents relatifs à d’autres pays proches (Espagne et Iles Canaries, Portugal, Libye, Tunisie, Algérie et Mauritanie en particulier), en lien direct avec l’avifaune marocaine.
Article
Full-text available
Our study was carried out in the area of Oued El Bsibsa in the Djebel Amour in the center of the Saharan Atlas, at the limit of Sahara desert (34° 12' N; 2° 10' E, 1300-1470m). We followed the biology of the reproduction of Greenfinch Carduelis chloris ssp voousi, one of common passerine of this region, during three seasons of reproduction. The nest density was 2.73 nests /10ha. Mean clutch size was 4.09 ± 0.75 eggs/nest, relatively low with that is observed in the European populations. The breeding season duration was 59 days. Hatching success (72.35%) and reproduction success (fledging) (62.65%) were relatively important in comparison with other populations in Western Palearctic.
Article
Full-text available
Amount and quality of resources may be variable and generally poor in habitats of marginal avian populations living at the edge of species breeding range. We studied variation in egg traits (length, breadth, volume and shape) in three populations of the African Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus ultramarinus inhabiting degraded habitats in highlands of Algerian Saharan Atlas at mean altitudes 1328–1437 m a.s.l. We found high within-clutch repeatability of all the egg traits studied. As theoretically expected in peripheral parts of the species geographic range, there was considerable variation in egg-size traits among the study populations, with eggs being distinctly smaller and more elongated at a site characterised by most human-modified habitat composed of maquis scrubland with rare Pistacia trees. Egg length and shape tended to be affected by the altitude of nest site and by clutch size, but not laying date. We found some effects of egg traits on hatching and fledging success, suggesting that fitness advantage of egg sizes is dependent of egg shape. We conclude that the above patterns of variation in egg size and shape of the African Blue Tit populations have influence of fitness. Our finding of considerable variation in egg traits between separate peripheral populations confirms the theoretical expectation and seems to be a novel result.
Article
Full-text available
Several studies have been performed to investigate the impact of tree characteristics on nest placement in canopy by nesting passerines. Moreover, the breeding ecology of the European Greenfinch Chloris chloris was studied previously, but little is currently known about its nest placement and nesting behavior. This study aimed to examine the impact of the age of orange orchards Citrus sinensis on nest location within trees. During two consecutive breeding seasons (2013-2014), nest placement was studied in two different age categories of orange orchards in Guelma region, Northeast Algeria. The Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was performed to demonstrate the variability of nest placement with the age of orange plantation. Results indicated that nest placement in orange orchards is highly variable. The comparison of the two orchards with different age and structural characteristics revealed that nest placement in trees differed in all measured parameters. The Greenfinch’ nests are placed gradually higher and further from the main trunk as trees grow older. Although the relative vertical position of the nest rises with the age of trees, the relative horizontal position of the nest in the canopy does not change with tree age. These results demonstrate plasticity of this finch species in their choice of nest placement in the available orange plantation in this region.
Article
Full-text available
During two successive years (2013 – 2014), we studied the breeding ecology of the European Blackbird Turdus merula at Guelma province, north-east of Algeria. The study was carried out in orange orchards of the region. We investigated nest placement in the orange trees and determined the factors of reproductive failure at this study area. Nests were placed at low height (mean ± SD = 1.42 ± 0.04 m) and located near to the trunk (mean ± SD = 0.61 ± 0.04 m). The breeding season occurred between mid-May and the mid-June and the peak of egg laying took place during the first half of May. The mean clutch size was found 2.96 ± 0.05, density of breeding pairs was 0.83 ± 0.30 p/ha. The breeding success reported by the present study was higher than that recorded in other studies. Predation was the leading cause of nest failure of the population under investigation. The present study shows that the orange orchards appear to be the preference breeding area for Blackbird population.
Article
Full-text available
The Turtle Dove and Laughing Dove display distinct behavior and are morphologically and genetically different. However, microhabitat selection and reproductive success details of the two species are still poorly studied. The geographic distribution of the Laughing Dove in North Africa has clearly expanded nowadays. The breeding ecology and nest placement of this species have been studied previously, but little is currently known about its life history in Algeria. This study aimed to provide the basic information on the breeding biology of the Laughing Dove in Algeria. During two consecutive breeding seasons (2013–2014), the clutch size, brood size, chick survival, timing of breeding, densities of breeding pairs, nest placement, and the main causes of nest failure of the sympatric Laughing Dove and Turtle Dove were studied in an olive orchard in Guelma region, northeast Algeria. Clutch size, brood size, chick survival, the estimated productivity, and nest placement of the two species were similar but timing of breeding and population densities were significantly different. Finally, the largely coincident egg-laying period and the similar clutch size of the two species seem to be the main factors behind their similar survival rate and productivity in our study area.
Article
Full-text available
Determinants of nesting success in Turtle doves (Streptopelia turtur) in a North-African agricultural area.— Determining the effects of environmental factors on nesting success of migrant and breeding game birds is paramount especially in man-made environments. Using Poisson regression, we investigated the influence on the number of chicks fledged per nest (N = 207) of nest placement, proximity of cereal crops and water sources, taking into account possible phenological and spatial differences between the five studied orchards. The best model, selected by Akaike criterion, shows positive linear effects of distance from the nest to the trunk, to closest cereal crops and a quadratic effect of nest height (with an optimum at 1.6m). In Guelma’s orange groves, nest placement and proximity to cereal crops have a direct impact on the productivity of Turtle doves. Further researches on other tree species (fruit and forest ones) are necessary to: (i) assess their importance for breeding Turtle doves and (ii) determine the effect of environmental variables on the maintenance of the species.
Article
Full-text available
The breeding ecology of North African B lue Tits (Parus caeruleus ultramarinus) nesting at 500 rn and 1 000 rn a . s . l . in Zeen Oaks (Quercus faginea) was studied over a three-year period ( 1 99 1 - 1 993) in northeastem Algeria. The data (laying period, clutch size, breeding success) collected at 500 rn fit the limits already known, but those collected at 1 000 rn show sorne differences. In the latter, the mean clutch size (7.4 eggs) is the highest ever found in North Africa, about 1 2 % of the females l ay 1 0 to 1 2 eggs per clutch. These clutch sizes are similar to those found in birds breeding in European oak woods . The Zeen Oak is a semi-evergreen tree that keeps its leaves more or Jess alive over winter before renewing them ail in the spring like a deciduous oak whose young leaves allow the development of a great amount of caterpillars , the basic food i tems for tits . These populations illustrate the high v ariability in morphology and in life-hi story traits of B lue Tits living in Mediterranean habitats.
Article
Capsule: Nest predation in Linnets in Denmark was caused mainly by Hooded Crows Corvus corone cornix and Magpies Pica pica with no experimental evidence of antipredator aggression. Aims: To investigate the influence of nest clumping on the risk of nest predation in Linnets, a species that often breeds semi-colonially. Methods: The predation rates on clumped and randomly distributed nests were compared by the use of artificial nest experiments. Additionally, the behaviour of Linnets towards a potential nest predator was studied by presenting a mounted Magpie near the nest of breeding Linnets. Results: The artificial nest experiments showed that semi-colonial breeding was not likely to increase the risk of nest predation, and an experiment with the mounted Magpie showed that Linnets did not exhibit anti-predator aggression. Conclusion: Semi-colonial breeding, resulting in increased local nest density, did not appear to influence the risk of nest predation in Linnets. We suggest that semi-colonial breeding in Linnets is a means of pooling information on food sources.
Article
A new subspecies of Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs in North Africa is described. It is restricted to northern Cyrenaica in north-east Libya. Differences from the other North African subspecies, F. c. africana and F. c. spodiogenys, are discussed, the main ones being that males invariably possess a prominent white patch on the central nape, a hint of a white post-ocular supercilium, a more yellowish tinge both above and below, stronger yellow fringes to the tertials and wing-coverts, and a less clean blue-grey head. Reasons for not recognising the subspecies F. c. koenigi are reconfirmed. There is some variation in size and in saturation of male plumage within the range of africana, making separation of koenigi untenable.