Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 987–995 | Cite as

Philopatry, Dispersal Patterns and Nest-site Reuse in Lesser Grey Shrikes (Lanius minor)

  • A. Krištín
  • H. Hoi
  • F. Valera
  • C. Hoi
Original paper


To nest in the same breeding area, territory or even nest-site in successive years may provide a possibility to look at mechanisms involved in breeding habitat selection and could also be an important tool for conservation, management and restoration attempts. In this study we examine site fidelity towards the breeding area as well as the nesting site in a dense and stable population of the Lesser Grey Shrike Lanius minor, a long-distance migrant and highly endangered passerine species, at its present northern border of its breeding range. Overall we recovered 48 out of 146 (32.8%) adults between 1996 and 2000. Recovery rate is significantly higher for males (31 of 77, 40.25%) than for females (17 of 69, 24.6%). Recovery rate of nestlings is much lower since only 51 of 790 (6.5%) were recovered and there is no significant sex difference. Furthermore, our results from 1989 to 2000 revealed that more than 30% (97/319) of the nests were built in the same nest tree in successive years and more than half (183/319 = 57.4%) of the nests in the same or neighboring trees (up to 20 m), but very seldom by the same individuals. The fact that nest reuse in successive years is almost exclusively done by different individuals suggests habitat copying and public information of individual birds. Due to optimal ecological breeding conditions other parameters like inbreeding avoidance or increased genetic variability could be important factors in nest-site selection strategies and consequently result in a “disperse over stay strategy”.


Nest-site selection Philopatry Habitat copying Lesser Grey Shrike Territory fidelity Nest-site tradition 


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This study was supported by the bilateral agreement between the Austrian and Slovak Academy of Sciences. Anton Kristin was partially supported by the grant of the Slovak Grant agency (No: 2/6007/25). Francisco Valera was supported by the Programa de Ayudas para el Retorno de Investigadores de la Consejería de Educación y Ciencia (Junta de Andalucía).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Forest Ecology of SASZvolenSlovakia
  2. 2.Konrad Lorenz Institute for EthologyAustrian Academy of SciencesViennaAustria
  3. 3.Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas (CSIC)AlmeríaSpain

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