Are birds less fecund in Australia than in southern Africa?, part 2

The following is information on the clutches and eggs of ground-nesting birds in and near Fitzgerald River National Park in Western Australia, compared with Agulhas National Park in South Africa.

Data for clutches and eggs are excluded for species:

  • with eggs exceeding 40 mm diameter (on the assumption that these exceed the capacity of Dasypeltis scabra, see part 1), and
  • nesting on water, cliffs or steep banks, or higher than 20 centimeters above ground-level.

In the following avifaunal lists for the study areas in Australia and southern Africa, I have grouped the species intercontinentally by genus or family where possible, and otherwise according to foraging guild. The figures shown are number of eggs per clutch, and diameter of eggs.

FLIGHTLESS BIRDS, BUSTARDS, and CRANES (all of which nest on the ground but have eggs with diameters exceeding 40 mm)

Australia:
(Dromaius novaehollandiae)
(Ardeotis australis, rare in study area)

southern Africa:
(Struthio camelus)
(Eupodotis afra)
(Neotis denhami)
(Anthropoides paradiseus)

OYSTERCATCHERS

(Haematopus spp. lay about 2 eggs of diameter about 42 mm on the shores of both study areas)

DUCKS

Australia:
Anas gracilis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/6969-Anas-gracilis
4-14, 39 mm
Anas castanea https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/6958-Anas-castanea
7-15, 37 mm
(Anas superciliosa https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/6987-Anas-superciliosa
7-13, 41 mm)
Spatula rhynchotis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/558437-Spatula-rhynchotis
9-11, 38 mm

southern Africa:
Anas capensis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/6986-Anas-capensis
6-10, 35 mm
Anas erythrorhyncha https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/6984-Anas-erythrorhyncha
5-12, 37 mm
Spatula smithii https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/558436-Spatula-smithii
6-11, 39 mm

PLOVERS and THICKNEES

Australia:
Charadrius bicinctus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4826-Charadrius-bicinctus
4, 22 mm
Charadrius ruficapillus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4803-Charadrius-ruficapillus
2, 21 mm
2-3, 24 mm
Elseyornis melanops https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4914-Elseyornis-melanops
3-4, 19 mm
Thinornis cucullatus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/144487-Thinornis-cucullatus
1-3, 27 mm or 2-3, 24 mm
Vanellus tricolor https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4874-Vanellus-tricolor
4, 32 mm
Burhinus grallarius rare https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4925-Burhinus-grallarius
2, 39 mm

southern Africa:
Charadrius hiaticula https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4801-Charadrius-hiaticula
Charadrius marginatus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4806-Charadrius-marginatus
1-4 usually 2, 23 mm
Charadrius pallidus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4819-Charadrius-pallidus
2, 23 mm
Charadrius pecuarius https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4828-Charadrius-pecuarius
Charadrius tricollaris https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4805-Charadrius-tricollaris
2, 22 mm
Vanellus coronatus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4877-Vanellus-coronatus
2-4 usually 3, 29 mm
Burhinus vermiculatus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4926-Burhinus-vermiculatus
2, 36 mm
Burhinus capensis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/4922-Burhinus-capensis
1-2 usually 2, 38 mm

NIGHTJARS

Australia:
Eurostopodus argus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/19554-Eurostopodus-argus
1, 25 mm

southern Africa:
Caprimulgus pectoralis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/19392-Caprimulgus-pectoralis
2, 20 mm

CIRCUS

Australia:
Circus approximans https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/5168-Circus-approximans
3-6 usually 3-4, 40 mm

southern Africa:
(Circus maurus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/5174-Circus-maurus)
(Circus ranivorus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/5165-Circus-ranivorus)

MEROPS

Australia:
Merops ornatus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/2238-Merops-ornatus
3-7 usually 4-5, 18 mm

southern Africa
Merops apiaster https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/2191-Merops-apiaster
4-6, 22 mm

GALLIFORMS

Australia:
Coturnix pectoralis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/825-Coturnix-pectoralis
7-14 usually 7-8, 23 mm
Synoicus ypsilophorus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/505881-Synoicus-ypsilophorus
7-11 and up to 20, 23 mm
Turnix varius https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/20907-Turnix-varius
4, 23 mm
Turnix velox https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/20866-Turnix-velox
3-5 usually 4, 18 mm
(Leipoa ocellata https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/2040-Leipoa-ocellata)

southern Africa:
Coturnix coturnix https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/804-Coturnix-coturnix
6 up to 12, 22 mm
Pternistis capensis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/343746-Pternistis-capensis
6-8 and up to 14, 38 mm
Scleroptila afer https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/550880-Scleroptila-afra
6, 30 mm
Turnix hottentotus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/980032-Turnix-hottentottus
2-5, 19 mm

LARKS and PIPITS

Australia:
Anthus novaeseelandiae https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/204462-Anthus-novaeseelandiae
3-5 usually 4, 17 mm

southern Africa:
Galerida magnirostris https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/7358-Galerida-magnirostris
2-3, 17 mm
Calandrella cinerea https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/204473-Calandrella-cinerea
1-4 usually 2, 15 mm
Certhilauda brevirostris https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agulhas_long-billed_lark
2-3, 15.5 mm
Mirafra apiata https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/204543-Mirafra-apiata
2-3, 15 mm
Anthus cinnamomeus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/145208-Anthus-cinnamomeus
2-4 usually 3, 16 mm
Anthus leucophrys https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/13708-Anthus-leucophrys
2-4 usually 3, 15 mm
Macronyx capensis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/14098-Macronyx-capensis
3-4, 18 mm

SUNDRY WATERBIRDS

Australia:
Tribonyx ventralis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/144480-Tribonyx-ventralis
5, 30 mm

southern Africa:
Gallinula chloropus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/201282-Gallinula-chloropus
5-8 usually 8, 30 mm
Gallinago nigripennis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/3924-Gallinago-nigripennis
2, 30 mm
Sarothrura rufa https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/352-Sarothrura-rufa or elegans https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/349-Sarothrura-elegans
3-4 or 5, 21 mm
Rostratula benghalensis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/3999-Rostratula-benghalensis
3-5, 25 mm

'CHATS'

Australia:
Epthianura albifrons https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/12651-Epthianura-albifrons
2-4 usually 3, 14 mm

southern Africa:
Cercomela familiaris presence needs confirmation https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/980204-Oenanthe-familiaris
2-4 usually 3, 15 mm
Saxicola torquatus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/55371-Saxicola-torquatus and https://www.jstor.org/stable/3675997
3-4, 14 mm
Oenanthe pileata nests in rodent burrows https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/12839-Oenanthe-pileata
3-5, 18 mm

PARROTS

Australia:
Pezoporus flaviventris https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_ground_parrot
3-4, 21 mm

PARDALOTES

Australia:
Pardalotus punctatus xanthopyge https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/13531-Pardalotus-punctatus
3-6 usually 4, 14 mm

STARLINGS

southern Africa:
(Lamprotornis bicolor, when nesting in tunnels below ground-level, uses steep banks; see part 1)

'WRENS'

Australia:
Drymodes brunneopygia https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/14157-Drymodes-brunneopygia
1, 19 mm
Dasyornis longirostris https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/13479-Dasyornis-longirostris
2, 19 mm
Malurus splendens https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/12083-Malurus-splendens
2-4 usually 3, 14 mm
Malurus pulcherrimus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/12072-Malurus-pulcherrimus
3, 12 mm
Sericornis frontalis https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/13510-Sericornis-frontalis
2-3, 17 mm
Calamanthus montanellus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/548191-Calamanthus-montanellus
3 and up to 4, 16 mm
Hylacola cauta https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/72928-Hylacola-cauta
2-3, 14 mm

southern Africa:
Chaetops frenatus rare in study area https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/116869-Chaetops-frenatus and https://sabap2.birdmap.africa/docs/sabap1/611.pdf
2, 20 mm
Cisticola fulvicapilla https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/72731-Cisticola-fulvicapilla
3-5, 12 mm
Cisticola tinniens https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/7660-Cisticola-tinniens
3-5, 12 mm
Cisticola textrix presence needs confirmation https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/7700-Cisticola-textrix
4, 12 mm
Cisticola subruficapilla https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/72733-Cisticola-subruficapilla
3-4, 12 mm
Cercotrichas coryphoeus https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/522938-Cercotrichas-coryphoeus
2-3 and up to 4, 15 mm
Sphenoeacus afer https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/15717-Sphenoeacus-afer
2-3, 16 mm

Publicado el marzo 6, 2022 12:55 MAÑANA por milewski milewski

Comentarios

40 mm is the diameter of the egg in small-bodied ('bantam') breeds of Gallus domesticus.

Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años

More broadly on the two continents:

Stipturus ruficeps (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/12132-Stipiturus-ruficeps) is a fair match for Cisticola fulvicapilla/subruficapilla (winter-rainfall climate) and Malcorus pectoralis (semi-arid climate), for example showing the same degree of sexual dimorphism. However, S. ruficeps is more dependent on dense vegetation, is slightly more social (particularly compared to Cisticola) and lays fewer eggs per clutch (particularly compared to M. pectoralis). All are sedentary; nests are similar; and none is known to be a social breeder.

Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años

The following gives the number of eggs per clutch in the same study area, for birds not nesting on the ground.

AUSTRALIA
Anthochera carunculata 2 up to 3
little wb 1-2 up to 3
Manorina 2-5 usually 3-4
Lichenostomus virescens 2-3
Lichmera jndistincta 2-3
Phylodonyris n 1-3 usually 2
Phylidonyris novaehollandiae 1-3 usually 2
tc he 2 up to 3
W spinebill 1-2
Pom super 2-3 up to 5
Emuwren 3
Thornbills 3, 3-4, and 4
Zosterops 2-4 usually 3

SOUTHERN AFRICA
Promerops cafer 2
Nectarinia famosa 2 up to 3
Obsb 1-2
Ldcsb 2 up to 3
Pycnonotus capensis 2-3
Colius 3-4
Cosssypha caffra 2 up to 3
Zosterops 2-3
Euplectes capensis 2-4 usually 3
Prinia 2-5 usually 4
Apalis 3 up to 4
Cape sparrow 3-6
Serinus canicollis 3-4 up to 5

Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años

Leipoa ocellata: 5-33, usually 15-24, eggs per clutch; egg diameter 61 mm.

Publicado por milewski hace casi 2 años

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