NESTING AND BROOD PRODUCTION IN AN ISRAELI POPULATION OF CHUKARS, ALECTORIS CHUKAR (AVES: PHASIANIDAE)

Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution

Aspects of breeding in a chukar population (Alectoris chukar cypriotes) were studied in a Mediterranean biome in the Lower Galilee of Israel for a period of 2 years. Back-dating broods indicated that successful nesting, from laying to hatching, lasted up to 17½ weeks from mid-March to July. Most nests were in clumps of globe thistle on gentle terrain. More than 60% of nests were abandoned or destroyed and re-nesting was common. Complete clutches in 22 out of 40 nests found during the study averaged 12.2 ± 3.0 eggs. Egg laying occurred at 1.14 d/egg, and an incubation period of 26 d was indicated. One instance of possible male incubation was observed. Newly hatched chicks were accompanied by hens that were often hostile to alien broods; but many broods merged or were joined by other adults when the chicks were older.

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