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The timing of fledging and annual post-fledging survival of juvenile Feral Pidgeons (Columbia livia) in a city area (NW Poland)

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Research on the annual post-fledging survival of young Feral Pigeons Columba livia was conducted in 1998-2001 in five breeding colonies located in the city centre of Słupsk (NW Poland, area 43 km[^2]. Breeding pairs and their offspring were individually ringed. A total of 1016 clutches were studied, as was the fate of 809 fledglings. It was found that although fledglings were produced throughout the entire year, about 81-93% of young was leaving the nest in the period between April and September. The peak period of fledging occurred in May, August or June accordingly in successive study years. The dynamic of fledging in one year reflected the pairs. egg laying activity occurring two months earlier. Juvenile mortality was highest during the first month after fledging and was found to be 45% of young birds. The main cause of death was hunger, as the young, inexperienced individuals were unable to compete successfully with adults for food at foraging areas. Loss of young clearly decreased with every successive month. The annual survival rate of juveniles produced in a calendar year was 30%. Almost all the juveniles surviving their first year of life joined the breeding population. Young produced in winter and spring had better survival rates than did those leaving the nest in summer, and especially, in autumn. The differences in survival rates found among the seasons of the year most likely resulted from changes in the pressure of competition for food in foraging areas.
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Bibliogr. 28 poz.,
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