As promised from yesterday's entry, I have got some news on the choughs from Maria Bogdanova who has been working on them for the past few years.
Unfortunately, I cannot say anything cheerful about 2007, it turned out a very bad year for chick survival. The breeding success in 2007 was normal but the majority of chicks died relatively soon after they fledged (in the first 3 - 4 months). There are hardly any left now (less than 10%). It seems that the high mortality was caused by a combination of bad weather and lack of food during the critical time when the parents were feeding the chicks in the nest and also in the period after the young fledged when they still lacked foraging experience.The only good news is that many of the young born in 2006 (which was a good year) are still doing well. The young birds have been in the main 2 flocks, in the areas of Ardnave and Kilchoman, throughout the winter. Many thanks to Maria for her input to the blog.
Some of you may remember this image of a chough that I took early on last summer, it was in a bit of a sorry state, although I went to look for it later on that day there was no sign of it. I also believe there was quite a high mortality due to "Gape worms" last year. IKB
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