Action D.1| Monitoring of the nesting/breeding sites (artificial nests – nesting niches) of public buildings in the historical centres of Altamura and Gravina in Puglia

The monitoring activity will interest the installed/created nests in the nesting period, each year from April to July while during the rest of the year they will be interested by maintenance interventions.
Concerning nests/niches interesting public buildings, the monitoring will deal with 75-80% of the nests.
During the breeding periods the monitoring visits will be carried out 2/3 times for the 3 years successive to the first installation of the new nests.
Just the nests easily accessible to the researchers will be monitored. Besides verifying if the nest has been occupied or not, 3-4 successive controls will be carried out for collecting data related to the breeding biology of the species (numero uova deposte, tasso di schiusa, successo riproduttivo).

The Nests Monitoring will be implemented through the following standard monitoring protocol.

Number of the artificial nest/nesting niche
Nest esposition
Exact Location (adress)
Coordinates

Date of the first control
Number of eggs find
Number of chicks find
Notes

Date of the second control
Number of eggs find
Number of chicks find
Notes

Date of the third control
Number of eggs find
Number of chicks find
Notes

Each file-card can contain data related to about 20 nests. The first monitoring visit is carried out in the period 15 – 30 of May, the second in the period 1-15 of June, ~the third in the period 16-30 of Jun, the fourth in the period 1st- 15 of July. A fifth visit can take place in cases of late spawning.
On the nests’ monitoring file-card can be noted down all other relevant information concerning the observed nest (e.g. the presence of other species or insects in the nest or other).

The “ringing” which concerns the application of metal rings with ISPRA (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale – Institute for Environmental Protection and Research) data. These data are collected in a national data base managed by the very ISPRA where all data related to the ringing carried out in Italy on all birds’ species arrive. In July 2011, besides the metal ring, it was applied the red ring too which is visible also on the chicks of the artificial nest with the 24H monitoring web cam.
The coloured ring allows the distance reading with binoculars or telescope and indicates the provenance area, the Murge in this case. During the monitoring activities in the following years, it is possible to find in the nests brooding adults that were ringed when they were still chicks. These findings already occured confirming the fidelity of the Lesser Kestrel to the site and to the breeding colony or possible shifts to close colonies. e.g. a lesser kestrel born in Gravina was found in Gravina again in its breeding period in a artifical nest or other lesser kestrel born in Gravina successively found in Altamura or Matera during the breeding period. Rarely occurs that a Lesser kestrel ringed in this area coming back from its wintering season goes faraway for colonizing new areas, e.g. the case of that lesser kestrel ringed in the nest in Montescaglioso (Matera) and found the successive year in Parma during the breeding period.

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