Clutch size and breeding success of great tit (Parus major) and blue tit (P. caeruleus) in the parks of Kharkiv city

  • A. B. Chaplygina G.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University
  • D. I. Bondarets G.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University
  • N. Savynskaya G.S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Kharkiv
Keywords: great tit, blue tit, clutch size, breeding success, urbanized landscape


The analysis of clutch size and breeding success of great tits and blue tits is conducted using 115 nests: 92 great tits and 23 blue tits. Nest boxes for small passerine birds were made in 2009–2013 and placed in the city parks in order to improve their ecological condition. Thus, the experimental plots were established in the Central park of culture and recreation named after M. Gorky in the number of 37 nest boxes in the area of about 5 ha; in the territory of Zhuravlevskiy hydropark in the amount of 30 units on two sites on each of 4 ha and 20 units on an area of 2 ha. 20 nest boxes were placed in the forest park along the central motorway of the city. All the nest boxes were placed by the group method (distance between nest boxes was about 10–15 m) at height to 3 m, and entrance diameter of 3 cm. The front wall in such nest boxes is taken out, thus facilitating their further verification carried out during the period from the first ten-day period of April till the second ten-day period of July up to ten times. It was shown that the average size of the full clutch for great tits amounted to 8.9 ± 0.35 (n = 61) and for blue tits 9.5 ± 0.33 (n = 12). The great tits has the largest proportion of 10 (33.5%) and 9 eggs (16.7%) in the clutch. For the blue tits the dominating figure was 10 egg (25.0%) in the clutch of Zhuravlevskiy hydropark and 12 eggs (17.5%) in the clutch in the Gorky park. We determined high success of reproduction for great tits (85.1%) and blue tits (84.0%). On average, per one pair of great tits and blue tits 5.1 ± 0.16 and 8.5 ± 0.38 chicks, respectively, flied the nests. The decreased parameter in breeding success during the existence of an artificial population of great tits was revealed. For example, in Zhuravlevskiy hydropark on average 6.7 ± 0.12 chicks per pair flied the nests during the year of placing the nest boxes. During four years, this value decreased almost by half and amounted to 3.6 ± 0.15 (P < 0.05). For blue tits this dependence was not found. The most productive clutches for great tits were clutches of the third ten-day period in April (89.7%), which on average amounted to 8,9 ± 0.78 chicks per pair. The most successful were ten egg clutches. Share of takeoff chicks amounted to 98.3%, which on average amounted to 9.8 ± 0,18 chicks per pair. 


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