Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 39/3-4 | 2002 | 191-197

  Habitat choice in the Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) following the 2002 invasion : an example in the bois du Hatrai at Sart-lez-Spa.
Schmitz, L.

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Article summary

Monthly counts of feeding and territorial Common Crossbills were carried along a 22.4 km route running through a 1100 ha forest dominated by Norway spruce (Picea abies), east of Spa from November 2002 to April 2003. Secondary conifer species were Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) and Larchs (Larix sp.) (fig; 1). The monthly crossbill habitat distributions were tested against species or species mixture of mature conifers stands frequency by constructing simultaneous confidence intervals following MARCUm & LOFTSGARDEN (1980). From November to January, crossbills selected larchs stands; thereafter, Scots pines were preferred in February and MArch. Spruce, which was lacking any cones during this time (tab. 1), was never selected by the crossbills (tab; 2). This test of habitat selection confirms the importane of larch during winter for the Common Crossbill. The period during which pine cones were consumed was short and appeared early in the year, probably owing to the dry weather occuring from February onwards and favouring seed dispersal. This drought and the lack of spruce cones were probably responsible for 2003 being an almost poor breeding year for the Common Crossbill in the Ardenne despite occuring after an influx.

Articles on the same species

Bec-croisé des sapins
Loxia curvirostra

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Bec-croisé d'Écosse (Loxia scotica), Bec-croisé perroquet (Loxia pytyopsittacus)