Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 23/2 | 1986 | 81-120

  Breeding and wintering avifauna in West Hesbaye poplar plantations
Schmitz, L.

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Article summary

This description, essentially qualitative, of the sedentary avifauna in the poplar plantations of an intensive agricultural region is based on the results obtained from 119 pointcounts. The bird population of these plantations is characterised bu : 1) the predominance of small ubiquitous species with restricted territory (Tableau 1); 2) the constancy of a good number of species,some of which were reared in shrub conditions, in most stages of growth (Fig.1, Tableau 2) due, amongst other reasons, to the persistant undergrowth in extensive poplar cultivation, and to the scanty cover afforded by poplars; 3) the relative rarety of species having long range of action, due to the division of the forest habitat into small unstable units. The massive decline of poplars, victims of Dotichiza populea, has but little effect on non-cavernicolous species before the complete disappearance of the canopy, but allow access to this zone by species of old forests. Forestry techniques vary little, the regional differences in Mid-Belgium are rather the reflex of the local fanistical context. Surveys carried out in coppices with standards and in parks confirm the juvenile, eclectic and banal character of poplar plantation avifauna. The penury of winter avifauna is due to the poorness of alimentary ressources, both in diversity and in quantity, and chiefly affects Fringillidae and Paridae.

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