Breeding biology and diet of Banded Kestrels Falco zoniventris on Masoala Peninsula, Madagascar
AbstractWe studied the breeding biology of the Banded Kestrel (Falco zoniventris) in the forest edge habitat of Masoala Peninsula of north-eastern Madagascar from 1997 to 1999. Banded Kestrels begin their breeding season at the end of the wet season during August and the start of the dry season in September. Courtship began during August and September, egg-laying occurred in October and young fledged in December. Three nesting attempts were documented with 10 eggs laid from clutches of three, three and four. Incubation was approximately 29 days (n = 3 clutches). Of 10 eggs laid, 70% hatched and all hatched young fledged. A total of 2.3 young fledged per nesting attempt and overall nest success was 67%. All Banded Kestrel nests were placed inside clusters of epiphytic arboreal plants composed of Asplenium nidus, Phymatodes scolopendria and Medinilla sp. and averaged 18m above the ground. Banded Kestrel diet, derived from 188 prey items, comprised 47% chameleons, 18% other lizards, 31% insects, 3% birds, a frog (0.5%) and a snake (0.5%).
Ostrich 2005, 76 1&2): 32–36