Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Biologia




More options …
Volume 61, Issue 5

Issues

Aggressive behaviour in Montagu’s harrier Circus pygargus during the courtship period

Jarosław Wiącek
Published Online: 2006-10-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-006-0095-8

Abstract

Aggressive behaviour of Montagu’s harrier was observed during the pre-laying period in the 1992–1995 seasons on the calcareous marshes of Chelm in Eastern Poland. In total, 435 flights performed by 24 pairs of individually marked harriers were analysed. All flights were performed in relation to the territory of defence. Males performed 61% of aggressive interactions while females performed 39%. Intraspecific and interspecific aggression comprising direct attacks (58%), escorts (13%), pursuits (28%) and “mirror behaviour” (1%) were described for the first time. Interspecific aggressive behaviour occurred only near territory boundaries. The main intruders were marsh harriers Circus aeruginosus breeding on the same marshes. Occasionally, harriers attacked curlews Numenius arquata, short-eared owls Asio flammeus, magpies Pica pica, hooded crows Corvus corone cornix, common buzzards Buteo buteo or hobbies Falco subbuteo. Four cases of communal mobbing were observed. Three to five males from the neighbourhood attacked the intruders together. Intraspecific aggressive behaviour was observed in the pair territory, near the boundary or at a distance of up to 100 m from the defended area. Aggressive interactions performed by both sexes were more frequent towards birds of the same sex. Females defended their territories more aggressively against females. Similarly, males were more aggressive against males. All cases of aggressive behaviour were observed near harrier territories. Aggressive relations between birds outside breeding territories or when foraging around marshes were not observed.

Keywords: Montagu’s harrier; birds of prey; aggressive behaviour

  • [1] Arroyo, B. 1999. Copulatory behavior of semi-colonial Montagu’s Harriers. The Condor 101: 340–346. Google Scholar

  • [2] Arroyo, B., Mougeot, F. & Bretagnolle, V. 2001. Colonial breeding and nest defence in Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 50: 109–115. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s002650100342CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [3] Busse, P. 1991. Mały słownik zoologiczny, Ptaki. Vol. II. Wiedza Powszechna, Warszawa, 396 pp. Google Scholar

  • [4] Clarke, R. 1996. Montagu’s Harrier. Arlequin Press, Chelmsford, 208 pp. Google Scholar

  • [5] Cramp, S. & Simmons, K.E.L. 1980. The birds of the Western Palearctic, Vol. II. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 695 pp. Google Scholar

  • [6] Glutz Von Blotzheim, U.N., Bauer, K.M. & Bezzel, E. 1971. Handbuch der Vogel Mitteleuropas Vol. IV. Akad. Verlag, Wiesbaden, 943 pp. Google Scholar

  • [7] Kochert, M.N., Steenhof, K. & Mortish, M. 1983. Evaluation of patagial markers for raptors and ravens. Bull. Wild. Soc. 11: 271–281. Google Scholar

  • [8] Krogulec, J. & Leroux, A.B.A. 1994. Breeding ecology of Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus on natural and reclaimed marshes in Poland and France, pp. 151–152. In: Meyburg, B.U. & Chancellor, R.D. (eds) Raptor conservation today, WWGBP, Berlin. Google Scholar

  • [9] Mougeot, F., Arroyo, B. & Bretagnolle, V. 2001. Decoy presentation as a means to manipulate the risk of extra-pair copulation: an experimental study in a semicolonial raptor, the Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus. Behav. Ecol. 12: 1–7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/beheco/12.1.1CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [10] Pandolfi, M. & Pino D’Astore, P. 1992. Aggressive behaviour in Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus during the breeding season. Boll. Zool. 59: 57–61. Google Scholar

  • [11] Shipper, W.J.A. 1973. A comparison of prey selection in sympatric harriers Circus sp. in Western Europe. Le Gerfaut 63: 117–120. Google Scholar

  • [12] Simmons, R. 1988. Honest advertising, sexual selection, courtship displays and body condition of polygynous male harriers. The Auk 105: 303–307. Google Scholar

  • [13] Temeles, E.J. 1990. Northern harriers on feeding territories respond more aggressively to neighbours than to floaters. Behav. Ecol. Sociobiol. 26: 57–63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00174025CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • [14] Wiącek, J. & Koziol, P. 1997. An attempt at verification of partner’s fidelity in the Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus with the use of DNA fingerprinting. Notatki Ornitologiczne 38: 173–182. Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2006-10-01

Published in Print: 2006-10-01


Citation Information: Biologia, Volume 61, Issue 5, Pages 593–595, ISSN (Online) 1336-9563, ISSN (Print) 0006-3088, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11756-006-0095-8.

Export Citation

© 2006 Institute of Zoology, Slovak Academy of Sciences. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Marcin Brzeziński and Michał Żmihorski
Acta Zoologica Lituanica, 2009, Volume 19, Number 2, Page 93

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in