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Effect of supplemental feeding on nesting success in the Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni)

In: Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Authors:
Adiv Gal Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

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David Saltz Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Sde Boker Campus 84990, Israel

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Uzi Motro Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, Department of Statistics, and the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

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The effect of food supplement to Lesser Kestrel (Falco naumanni) nests during the nestling period (from hatching to fledging) was studied in two nesting colonies in Israel – Alona and Jerusalem. Our hypothesis, based on diminishing returns considerations, was that food supplement will have a greater effect on fledgling success in the food-limited, urban colony of Jerusalem, than in the rural colony of Alona. Indeed, food supplement had a significantly positive effect on breeding success in both colonies. However, and contrary to our prediction, the decrease in chick mortality between supplemented and control nests in Jerusalem was not larger than in Alona (actually it was numerically smaller, albeit not significantly so). This implies either that additional factors, possibly urbanization associated, other than food limitation, might be responsible for the difference in nesting success of Lesser Kestrels between Alona and Jerusalem, and/or that the amount or the nutritional quality of the additional food provided to supplemented nests (three mice per chick per week), was not enough.

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