Nesting and breeding ecology of Asian pied starling Sturnus contra
Jyoti Sethi and Manoj Kumar
Study was conducted on the nesting and breeding ecology of Asian Pied Starling Sturnus contra at Ludhiana during 2016-17. A total 48 nests were observed. Nests were dome-shaped, with a lateral entrance-hole. The most preferred nesting structure was electric poles (68.7%), followed by trees (20.8%), high voltage power transmission tower (4.1%); electrical transformer (4.1%) and iron pole (2.0%). The average height for nest ranges from 4 m - 6.5 m depending upon the nesting structure and the maximum height of nest recorded was 21.0 m on the high voltage power transmission tower. The mean width, height and depth of entrance hole of the nests were 42.6±1.20 cm, 30.4±1.66 cm and 8.1±0.49 cm respectively. The mean weight of nests (n=3) was 451.72±38.93gm. The breeding period extended from February end to August. Breeding activities were shared by both the parents. The clutch comprised of 4-5 oval, glossy blue eggs with mean dimensions of 26.36 mm X 19.55 mm. Breeding period last up to 53-78 days. It was concluded that habitat and nesting structure preferences were directly proportional to the presence of feeding materials, roosting places and nesting material available.