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See detailBiologie et Ecologie du Martin- pêcheur huppé (Alcedinidae : Alcedo cristata, PALLAS 1764) de la région de Kinshasa: habitat, tactique alimentaire et reproduction.
Kisasa Kafutshi, Robert ULg

Doctoral thesis (2012)

Pour expliquer la rareté de sites de nidification du Martin-pêcheur huppé dans la région de Kinshasa, trois hypothèses ont été successivement testées au cours de ce travail. Une première hypothèse ... [more ▼]

Pour expliquer la rareté de sites de nidification du Martin-pêcheur huppé dans la région de Kinshasa, trois hypothèses ont été successivement testées au cours de ce travail. Une première hypothèse suggérait que le choix de son habitat de reproduction résulterait d’un compromis entre le taux de survie de ses nids, de son succès reproducteur et de la qualité des sols utilisés pour la construction des nids. Le résultat obtenu a révélé qu’un sol propice à l’excavation est constitué de 10,8 ± 6,1% de limon, 7,5 ± 6,6% d’argile et de 81,4 ± 11,4% de sable. Par contre les falaises dont les sols sont constitués en moyenne de 8,5±5,6% de limon ; 11,6±6,5% d’argile et de 78,9±13% de sable, étaient soit abandonnées, soit non occupées. Il semble que la teneur en argile pour un sol favorable chez la plupart des oiseaux nichant dans le terrier est généralement inférieure à 10%. Une différence d’environ 1% de teneur en argile, en comparaison avec les falaises abandonnées ou sans nids dans la région, nous a paru inconcevable pour relier l’absence des nids dans certains habitats naturels avec la dureté des sols. La seconde hypothèse confirme le rôle de la relation structure fonction à partir des suivis réguliers de 138 poussins de l’éclosion à la sortie des nids. Le résultat obtenu montre que la croissance et le développement des organes expliquent le patron de consommation de l’espèce et les paramètres plus ou moins importants à la survie de l’espèce en milieux urbanisés (Kisasa Kafutshi sous presse). Et enfin, la troisième hypothèse suggère que le choix de proies à capturer par les adultes dépendrait des exigences des poussins et leur disponibilité dans le site. Pour toute la durée d’élevage, la consommation d’une nichée a été estimée à environ 17 proies. Il s’agissait des insectes, des grenouilles et de poissons de tailles variant de 2-6,5cm. Nous avons montré que le Martin-pêcheur huppé module le choix de son habitat de reproduction non seulement en fonction de la texture du sol des falaises (Kisasa Kafutshi & Aloni Kumanda 2011), de la disponibilité des proies (Kisasa Kafutshi 2012a), mais surtout de la chance de survie de ses nids d’une année à l’autre (Kisasa Kafutshi 2012b). [less ▲]

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See detailContribution à l’étude de la biologie de reproduction du Martin-pêcheur huppé Alcedo cristata
Kisasa Kafutshi, Robert ULg

in Malimbus (2012), 34

From 2004 to 2009, 127 nests of the Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata were monitored in the Kinshasa region (Democratic Republic of Congo) by counting eggs and ringing chicks and adults. In total, 195 ... [more ▼]

From 2004 to 2009, 127 nests of the Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata were monitored in the Kinshasa region (Democratic Republic of Congo) by counting eggs and ringing chicks and adults. In total, 195 birds (57 adults and 138 fledglings) were ringed, of which all adults and 121 chicks were weighed and measured. The Malachite Kingfisher lays 2–4 eggs that are incubated 15–16 days in the burrow. The nestling period is 16–17 days. Chick metabolic and ecological demands may explain the pattern of growth of the nestlings. [less ▲]

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See detailRéponses du Martin-pêcheur huppé Alcedo cristata à la perturbation de ses sites de nidification
Kisasa Kafutshi, Robert ULg

in Malimbus (2012), 34(28-38),

From 2004 to 2009, two colonies of Malachite Kingfisher were monitored by ringing the nestlings and adults, counting eggs and observing parental activity at the nests. Results show that 10 % of nests were ... [more ▼]

From 2004 to 2009, two colonies of Malachite Kingfisher were monitored by ringing the nestlings and adults, counting eggs and observing parental activity at the nests. Results show that 10 % of nests were destroyed by people in the Symphonies site as against 78 % in the Monastery site. Consequently, the number of nests available for breeding is lower at Monastery than at Symphonies. The number of fledged chicks per nest at Symphonies was twice that at the Monastery. Site fidelity is higher for the adults in the Symphonies site (26 %) than at the Monastery (11 %). This suggests that the Monastery site is less favourable to the survival of the Malachite Kingfisher than the Symphonies site. The best strategy to protect this species seems to be the maintenance of a good number of nesting sites. [less ▲]

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See detailLe régime alimentaire du Martin-pêcheur huppé Alcedo cristata pendant la période de reproduction dans la région de Kinshasa (R.D. Congo)
Kisasa Kafutshi, Robert ULg

in Malimbus (2012), 34

The diet of the Malachite Kingfisher was investigated by study of 182 regurgitated pellets collected from 65 broods during the nesting period in the rainy seasons from 2004 to 2009, in two sites in the ... [more ▼]

The diet of the Malachite Kingfisher was investigated by study of 182 regurgitated pellets collected from 65 broods during the nesting period in the rainy seasons from 2004 to 2009, in two sites in the Kinshasa area. In total, 2619 undigested remains were identified in the pellets, revealing 1100 prey. The Malachite Kingfisher’s diet is rich and diverse. The prey identified were 92.7 % fishes (Oreochromis niloticus, Gambusia affinis and Hemichromis elongatus), 5.9 % insects (Odonata and Orthoptera) and 0.5 % frogs. [less ▲]

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See detailThe impact of soil texture on the selection of nesting sites by the Malachite Kingfisher (Alcedinidae: Alcedo cristata Pallas 1764)
Kisasa Kafutshi, Robert ULg; Aloni Komanda, Jules

in Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology (2011), 82(3), 243-246

The first granulometrical analysis of soil samples from nesting banks of the Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata is reported. In total 56 samples from the Kinshasa area were analysed. Three standardised ... [more ▼]

The first granulometrical analysis of soil samples from nesting banks of the Malachite Kingfisher Alcedo cristata is reported. In total 56 samples from the Kinshasa area were analysed. Three standardised particle size fractions were determined in all groups of samples (percentage of sand, clay and silt). Mean particle percentage of soil samples from banks occupied by Malachite Kingfishers averaged 10.8 ± 6.1 of silt, 11.6 ± 6.5 of clay and 81.4 ± 11.4 of sand. A significant difference was found in the proportion of clay between banks with and without kingfisher nests. The results of the present study hence suggest that, as has been documented in other burrowing bird species, soil texture determines the selection of nesting sites in the Malachite Kingfisher. Our results indicate that even a slight difference in the proportion of clay can substantially affect the suitability of banks for the establishment of nests. In fact, burrowing birds must find suitable soils whose structure allows for a good compromise between stability and hardness to dig out, which poses an energy challenge just before the breeding season. [less ▲]

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