Life at the Guirrera

Last summer, during 200 hours of observation at the feeding station (‘Guirrera”),  we observed a total number of 213 different individuals (56 adult females, 24 immature females, 52 adult males, 45 immature males and all 36 fledglings born this year).  We experienced some remarkable days with up to 150 birds being observed, including several birds usually living on Lanzarote. Apart from  info on individual visiting rates, we collected very interesting material on social aspect of their behaviour. For example, despite the large numbers of birds sometimes feeding simultaneously,  the atmosphere at the feeding stations is usually very relaxed with very few serious conflicts or escalating fights. The birds nevertheless compete for food, but competitive displacements are very subtle, suggesting a well-established social hierarchy. We now have data on 5.000 displacements between marked birds, which allowed us to calculate the social status of 180 different individuals. First analyses revealed clear age- and sex-differences in social status (females being more dominant), but a relatively strong linear hierarchy appears to be also presents within each sex.  This data will be of great help to deepen out patterns of social relationships and other aspects  of the social structure of the population.

 

dsc03035

Egyptian vultures maintain their strong pair bonds even outside the breeding season by extensive mutual preening sessions. This pair is from Lanzarote, but they prefer to spend their summer on Fuerteventura.

juvenile-fight-18_8_2016

Juveniles establishing their social position

juvenile-fight-18_8_2016-2

These fights are always carefully observed by other birds

dsc02935

The Guirrera is also a place to relax

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s