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1 December 2014 Weather conditions and breeding season length in blackbird (Turdus merula)
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The timing of egg laying by songbirds is known to be strongly affected by local climate, with temperature and precipitation being the most influential factors. However, most research to date relates only to the start of the breeding season: later records and the duration of the whole have not been taken into consideration. In the case of multibrooded species, productivity usually depends on the length of the breeding season. In this work we analysed climatic factors affecting breeding season length of an urban blackbird (Turdus merula) population. The study was conducted in two parks in the city of Szczecin, north-western Poland, spanning 14 breeding seasons since 1997. We found that over the study period, the breeding season became shorter as a result of colder springs and possibly because of warmer June-July temperatures. Our study revealed a positive relationship between breeding season length and the mean and mean minimum temperatures in April. Total precipitation in April-July also positively influenced breeding season length. The present survey confirms the influence of temperature and precipitation on the breeding season length of blackbird.

Łukasz Jankowiak, Hanna Pietruszewska, and Dariusz Wysocki "Weather conditions and breeding season length in blackbird (Turdus merula)," Folia Zoologica 63(4), (1 December 2014).
Received: 27 June 2014; Accepted: 1 December 2014; Published: 1 December 2014

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