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5 September 2019 Nest Box Use for Winter Roosting within a Flock of Tits
Jakub A. Typiak, Marlena J. Typiak, Tomasz D. Mazgajski
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Roosting in various shelters allows saving energy, especially in winter, thus hole nesting birds, like tits, search for places suitable to spend cold nights. Because the environment probably does not provide enough shelters for all birds from a winter flock to roost, a competition for best sites, as nest boxes, probably occurs. Therefore, the aim of this study was to describe the pattern of using the nest boxes by birds for roosting during three consecutive winter seasons and to determine the structure of a group of roosting birds in relation to the winter flock. Tits were captured and marked; daily controls of nest boxes were performed to find out which of them the tits used for roosting and subsequently, birds entering these boxes were caught at night. Great tits Parus major were the most abundant species roosting in the studied boxes with proportion of blue tits Cyanistes caeruleus differed between years. Young individuals prevailed among the birds roosting in nest boxes. However the age and sex structure of great tits roosting in nest boxes was similar to that observed in winter flocks, which was in contrast to earlier studies that found that the males and older individuals, high in the social hierarchy of the flock, will take over these boxes. The size of winter flock differs strongly among winters, thus it is possible that the level of competition for these roosting sites also varies between the years.

Jakub A. Typiak, Marlena J. Typiak, and Tomasz D. Mazgajski "Nest Box Use for Winter Roosting within a Flock of Tits," Polish Journal of Ecology 67(2), 148-158, (5 September 2019).
Received: 1 June 2019; Published: 5 September 2019

Blue Tit
Great Tit
nest box
social hierarchy
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