Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 44/1 | 2007 | 13-25

  A Case of Adaptation of the Sand Martin (Riparia riparia). A colony nests in a tower of the castle at La Roche-en-Ardenne.
Fasol, M.

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Article summary

Following the discovery of a new colony of Sand Martins (Riparia riparia) in one of the towers of the castle at La Roche-en-Ardenne, in the Ourthe valley, the author wondered about the presence of many colonies described as "very artificial" along this river, whereas virtually no other durable cases are known on other Walloon rivers, outside the lower Ambleve, draining into the Ourthe, and the Liege Meuse into which the Ourthe flows. The phenomenon is perhaps related to the systematic destruction of the natural banks of these rivers, already extremely exposed to spring floods. Thus, the Ourthe is the only Walloon river with a net decline in its natural population of Martins during the last thirty years. The increase in artificial nesting colonies is perhaps also due to the hereditary character of this means of reproduction and to the advantages that it offers. Nests in the walls are protected from risks of flooding and predation. Ringing the birds born or nesting in such locations has allowed us to see that the colonies continue to function in a network, in the same way as colonies of nesting birds on natural banks or those in sand pits.

Articles on the same species

Hirondelle de rivage
Riparia riparia

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