Ornis Hungarica. vol.5. (1995) p.15-21.
Brood survival of Kentish Plovers (Charadrius alexandrinus) in alkaline grasslands and drained fish-ponds
We investigated the survival and growth of Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus broods in alkaline grasslands and drained fish-ponds in southern Hungary between 1988 and 1990. Broods hatched in the bottom of drained fish-ponds survived better (0.985±0.024 (SD) day-1) than the ones hatched in alkaline grasslands (0.851±0.247 day-1). This difference remained significant when we controlled for potentially confounding factors such as brood age, date of hatching and parental care. We propose that fish-ponds were better brood raising habitats than grasslands because they provided more hiding places for the chicks. Growth of chicks, measured by weight gain and tarsus growth, did not differ between the two habitats. These results do not support the earlier suggestion that Kentish Plovers make a wrong decision when they lay their eggs in fish-ponds; offspring produced in fish-ponds have a higher chance of fledging than those produced in grasslands.