Nesting features and breeding chronology of the crested coot (Fulica cristata) in two North African high altitude wetlands
Karima Es Salai, Ismail Mansouri, Wafae Squalli, AbdErahim El Hssani, Mohamed Dakki, Nasser Eddine Zine
The current study aimed to investigate the nesting behavior and breeding chronology of the crested coot (Fulica cristata) in Morocco’s high altitude wetlands. We monitored nesting activities and breeding phenology in two wetlands, Zerrouka and Hachlaf lakes, to achieve our goals. Besides, nesting materials and nest dimensions were analyzed to characterize the crested coot nests. As a result, 52 nests were found in two sites, 18 in Zerouka and 34 in Hachlaf. Nests were built by available twigs on each site, and nest dimensions varied between analyzed wetlands. Nests were larger in Zerrouka compared to Hachlaf Lake. To protect their nests, coots select open waters and submerged vegetation as nesting sites. On the other hand, breeding chronology, including nesting, laying, and hatching dates, was earlier in Zerrouka Lake than Hachlaf. The nesting activities started at Zerrouka during January and February, while at Hachlaf, breeding attempts started during April.
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