Authors: DAIVA VAITKUVIENE, MINDAUGAS DAGYS
Abstract: A countrywide White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) nest census was carried out in Lithuania in 2009 and 2010 by over 20 observers using standardised equipment and methods. The census revealed that the White Stork population has doubled since the previous census in 1994, possibly due to favourable changes in farming practices, with birds increasingly settling on the overhead electricity line poles and gradually abandoning nests in trees. In total, 21,192 White Stork nests were recorded, of which 18,782 (81.4%) were occupied by breeding birds, compared to 9400 occupied nests recorded in 1994. The mean density of occupied nests in the country was 29 nests/100 km2. Electricity line poles were the most common nest sites (49% of all nests), followed by trees (21%) and specially erected poles with nesting platforms (11%). Mean breeding success of White Storks was rather high, with 2.7 young raised per successful pair, suggesting a favourable conservation status for this species in Lithuania.
Keywords: White Stork, nest census, nest site, nest density, breeding success
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