Long-eared Owl Asio otus breeding in a Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans colony: Reversed roles in protective nesting association?
Keywords:breeding association, breeding ecology, gull defense, nesting habitat, predator-free area
We describe the event of Long-eared Owls Asio otus nesting on an island within a colony of Caspian Gulls Larus cachinnans at the Mietków Reservoir (SW Poland). The owls nested in an old (possible corvid) nest in a willow and raised two owlets. They probably did not hunt gulls, neither adults nor chicks. We suggest that, in this case, the Long-eared Owls benefitted from breeding within a gull colony because of the added security against predators that the gulls provided.
Becker PH, Furness RW & Henning D. 1993. Mercury dynamics in young Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) chicks from a polluted environment. Ecotoxicology 2: 33–40. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00058212
Collias NE & Collias EC. 1984. Nest Building and Bird Behavior. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.
Cramp S. 1985. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Volume IV. Terns to Woodpeckers. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Tome D. 2007. Nest defense and some rare breeding events in Long-eared Owls (Asio otus). Journal of Raptor Research 41: 170–173. https://doi.org/10.3356/0892-1016(2007)41[170:NDASRB]2.0.CO;2
Duncan JR. 2003. Owls of the world: their lives, behavior, and survival. Firefly Books, Buffalo, NY.
Ebbinge BS & Spaans B. 2002. How do Brent Geese (Branta b. bernicla) cope with evil? Complex relationships between predators and prey. Journal of Ornithology 143: 33–42. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02465456
Glue DE. 1972. Bird Prey taken by British Owls. Bird Study 19: 91–96. https://doi.org/10.1080/00063657209476330
Glue DE. 1977. Breeding biology of Long-eared Owls. British Birds 70: 318–331.
Götmark F & Andersson M. 1984. Colonial breeding reduces nest predation in the common gull (Larus canus). Animal Behaviour 32: 485–492. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-3472(84)80285-7
Halme P, Häkkilä M & Koskela E. 2004. Do breeding Ural owls Strix uralensis protect ground nests of birds?: an experiment using dummy nests. Wildlife Biology 10: 145–148. https://doi.org/10.2981/wlb.2004.019
Hardey J, Crick H, Wernham C, Riley H, Etheridge B & Thompson D. 2013. Raptors: a field guide to survey and monitoring. 3rd edition. The Stationery Office, Edinburgh.
Holt DW. 1994. Effects of Short-Eared Owls on Common Tern Colony Desertion, Reproduction, and Mortality. Colonial Waterbirds 17: 1–6. https://doi.org/10.2307/1521375
Kharitonov SP, Ebbinge BS & de Fouw J. 2013. Brent goose colonies near snowy owls: Internest distances in relation to breeding arctic fox densities. Biology Bulletin 40: 45–51. https://doi.org/10.1134/S106235901301007X
Kharitonov SP, Nowak DJ, Nowak AI, Egorova NA, Korkina SA, Osipov DV & Natalskaya OV. 2009. White-fronted and bean geese breeding near snowy owls, peregrine falcons, and rough-legged buzzards at the Taimyr Peninsula. Biology Bulletin 36: 643–646. https://doi.org/10.1134/S1062359009060168
van Kleef HH, Willems F, Volkov AE, Smeets JJHR, Nowak D & Nowak A. 2007. Dark‐bellied brent geese Branta b. bernicla breeding near snowy owl Nyctea scandiaca nests lay more and larger eggs. Journal of Avian Biology 38: 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2007.0908-8857.03639.x
Litwiniak K, Przymencki M & Celiński D. 2020. Short report on probable case of Caspian Gull predation on migrating swallows observed at first time. Ornis Hungarica 28: 181–184. https://doi.org/10.2478/orhu-2020-0012
Ludwig SC & Becker PH. 2008. Within-season divorce in Common Terns Sterna hirundo in a year of heavy predation. Journal of Ornithology 149: 655–658. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-008-0313-y
Marti CD. 1974. Feeding ecology of four sympatric owls. The Condor 76: 45–61. https://doi.org/10.2307/1365983
Mebs T & Scherzinger W. 2000. Die Eulen Europas. Franckh-Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart. [In German: The Owls of Europe]
Mikkola H. 1984. Owls of Europe. T and AD Poyser, Staffordshire.
Montevecchi W. 1977. Predation in a salt marsh Laughing Gull colony. The Auk 94: 583–585.
Orians GH & Wittenberger JF. 1991. Spatial and temporal scales in habitat selection. The American Naturalist 137: 29–49. https://doi.org/10.1086/285138
Pola A, Rybarczyk R & Stawarczyk T. 1998. Pierwsza kolonia lęgowa mewy srebrzystej Larus argentatus i mewy białogłowej Larus cachinnans na Śląsku. Ptaki Śląska 12: 158–160. [In Polish: The first colony of the Herring Gull Larus argentatus and the Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans in Silesia]
Przymencki M. 2020. Wybrane aspekty ekologii rozrodu mewy białogłowej Larus cachinnans na Zbiorniku Mietkowskim. MSc thesis, University of Wrocław. [In Polish: Selected aspects of breeding ecology of the Caspian Gull Larus cachinnans on the Mietków Reservoir]
Purger JJ & Tepavčevic A. 1999. Pattern analysis of red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus) nests in the rook (Corvus frugilegus) colony near Torda (Voivodina, Yugoslavia), using fuzzy correspondences and entropy. Ecological Modelling 117: 91–97. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3800(99)00012-5
Quinn JL, Prop J, Kokorev Y & Black JM. 2003. Predator protection or similar habitat selection in red-breasted goose nesting associations: extremes along a continuum. Animal Behavior 65: 297–307. https://doi.org/10.1006/anbe.2003.2063
Quinn JL & Ueta M. 2008. Protective nesting associations in birds. Ibis 150: 146–167. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919X.2008.00823.x
Rodríguez A, García AM, Cervera F & Palacios V. 2006. Landscape and anti-predation determinants of nest-site selection, nest distribution and productivity in a Mediterranean population of Long-eared Owls Asio otus. Ibis 148: 133–145. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919X.2006.00492.x
Seidensticker MT, Flockhart DTT, Holt DW & Gray K. 2006. Growth and plumage development of nestling Long-eared Owls. The Condor 108: 981–985. https://doi.org/10.1650/0010-5422(2006)108[981:GAPDON]2.0.CO;2
Snow DW & Perrins CM. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Concise edition. Volume 1. Non-passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Southern LK & Southern WE. 1979. Absence of Nocturnal Predator Defense Mechanisms in Breeding Gulls. Proceedings of the Colonial Waterbird Group 2: 157–162. https://doi.org/10.2307/1520949
Southern LK, Patton SR & Southern WE. 1982. Nocturnal Predation on Larus Gulls. Colonial Waterbirds 5: 169–172. https://doi.org/10.2307/1521049
Summers RW, Underhill LG, Syroechkovski EE Jr, Lappo HG, Prys-Jones RP & Karpov V. 1994. The breeding biology of Dark-bellied Brent Geese Branta b. bernicla and King Eiders Somateria spectabilis on the northeastern Taimyr Peninsula, especially in relations to Snowy Owl Nyctea scandiaca nests. Wildfowl 45: 110–118.
Tremblay J-P, Gauthier G, Lepage D & Desrochers A. 1997. Factors Affecting Nesting Success in Greater Snow Geese: Effects of Habitat and Association with Snowy Owls. The Wilson Bulletin 109: 449–461.
Wendeln H & Becker PH. 1999. Does Disturbance by Nocturnal Predators Affect Body Mass of Adult Common Terns? Waterbirds 22: 401–410. https://doi.org/10.2307/1522116
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2020 Klaudia Litwiniak, Marcin Przymencki
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The copyright of each contribution belongs to the author(s), but all contributions are published under a Creative Commons license, so that anyone is free to share and reuse the contribution as long as the copyright holder is attributed.