Observations on the breeding behaviour of the Pied Bush Chat (Saxicola caprata). - V.K. Sethi, D. Bhatt, A. Kumar. - Berkut. 21 (1-2). 2012. - P. 102-115.
Understanding the life history events is a crucial factor in developing conservation and management approaches for any avian species. Nevertheless such studies on the avifauna of the Indian subcontinent are scanty. This paper deals with the breeding behaviour of the tropical avian species, the Pied Bush Chat, observed during 2008–2009 in district Haridwar, Uttarakhand state, India. Breeding activities commenced with the advent of spring (in late February) and continued till July. The peak in breeding activity (availability of maximum clutches) was observed in May. Males were found highly territorial during breeding season and delivered dawn chorus with immediate variety. Dawn chorus seemed to play a role mainly in maintenance and adjustment of social relationship among neighbouring males. Nest-site selection was performed by both the sexes and only female built the nest. Nest was a cup of grass and rootlets lined with finer grass and animal hair. Clutch size averaged 3.67 ± 0.47. Only females incubated and developed brood patch during incubation. Different factors such as predation, rain water overflow in nest, hatching failure were found responsible for the loss of eggs/young ones. Nestlings and fledglings delivered begging and contact calls respectively for being fed from parents. Both sexes fed the young and delivered alarm call on observing any predator nearby the nesting area. We observed pairs nesting in partially-developed human settlements also suggesting scarcity of natural nesting habitat due to urbanization in the study area. [English].
Key words: breeding ecology, habitat, clutch, egg, song, incubation.
Address: D. Bhatt, Gurukula Kangri University, Dep. of Zoology and Environmental Science, Avian Diversity and Bioacoustics Lab.; Haridwar, 249404, Uttarakhand, India; e-mail: dineshharidwar@gmail.com.