Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 23/4 | 1986 | 216-224

  The feeding sites of the Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) in N.W. Morocco.
Franchimont, J.

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Article summary

In North-West Morocco, the feeding sites of the Cattle Egret are essentially sun-drenched rocky areas of limestone sub-soil with sparse vegetation, ploughed fields and rubbish heaps, and in second place low-lying land under cultivation and temporary ponds. Their actual relative degrees of exploitation vary considerably during the course of the year. The attraction of ploughed fileds is very strong, but the ploughing season, bound up as it is with the arrival of the rainy season, only extends from mid-November to april, with an interruption in January. The majority of birds is to be found again at this moment in direct association with agricultural machines. In the limestone sub-soil zones, the birds frequently follow the herds of cattle, especially at the end of the summer, when drought is on the increase. Frequentation of rubbish heaps is then the most regular : for indeed these are the sole importante source of food permanently accessible. The Cattle Egret's degree of association with man is therefore very great : no doubt this partly explains its demographic success.

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