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18 March 2022 Breeding Biology of the Endangered Burrow-Nesting Lesser Crescent-Chested Puffbird Malacoptila minor
Hilda Raianne Silva Melo, Januário Conceição Júnior, Flávio Kulaif Ubaid
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For many birds breeding success may be related to the availability of nesting sites, particularly in ecologically specialized cavity-nesting birds. For burrow-nesting species, the selection of an appropriate substrate may be fundamental to a successful breeding attempt. The Lesser Crescent-chested Puffbird Malacoptila minor is a bucconid with a restricted distribution, which is found in the states of Maranhão and Piauí, in northeastern Brazil. It is the only bucconid listed as threatened with extinction, and little is known about its natural history. A total of 49 nests were found over three breeding seasons (2017–2020). Nests consist of burrows dug in the ground that are used only once for breeding. Incubation lasted 21.2 ± 1.3 days and the nestlings fledged after 19.5 ± 2.9 days. The nests contained two or three eggs. The mean hatching rate was 0.46 ± 0.47 eggs per nest and the fecundity rate was 1.0 fledgling per female. The production was 0.53 fledglings per nest, apparent reproductive success was 22.4% (N = 49), and was 15.7% (N = 49) when based on Mayfield's protocol. The probability of breeding success per period was greater during the incubation phase than during the nestling phase. Predation was identified as the principal cause of nest failure (77.5%), mainly during the incubation phase. Three predators were identified: the Crab-eating Fox Cerdocyon thous, the fire ant Solenopsis saevissima, and a lizard, the Common Tegu Salvator merianae. Breeding season starts with the onset of rainy season and nest flooding did not appear to be a concern, which contrasts with the available data on other bucconids. The results of the present study are the first data on the breeding biology of the Lesser Crescent-chested Puffbird, and represent an important advance in the understanding of breeding patterns in the Bucconidae.

Hilda Raianne Silva Melo, Januário Conceição Júnior, and Flávio Kulaif Ubaid "Breeding Biology of the Endangered Burrow-Nesting Lesser Crescent-Chested Puffbird Malacoptila minor," Acta Ornithologica 56(2), 181-188, (18 March 2022).
Received: 1 April 2021; Published: 18 March 2022
natural history
nesting success
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