• Abstract

    Studies incorporating the nesting behavior and ecology of parasite disease in the European turtle dove during breeding periods are rare. This research examined nest features and nesting materials in Turtle doves to characterize nest dimensions, build, and incorporate vegetation, mainly aromatic and medicinal plants. In parallel, we estimated the ectoparasite load on chicks to verify an eventual relation between odorant plants and pathogen loads. The study was carried in apple orchards at Okhaja Ait Ayach, Midelt province Morocco, during 2015 and 2016. The obtained results demonstrate that the Turtle dove constructs a medium nest, compared to its body size, using several plant species, including medicinal and aromatic species known for their toxicity against pathogens. The inhibition capacity of nesting materials is reflected in parasite loads since only 8% of chicks were infested with Columbicola columbae and Dermanyssus gallinae. Repellent materials in nests are a successful behavioral strategy for this declining game to protect nestlings against pathogens.

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How to cite

Mansouri, I., Ousaaid, D., Squalli, W., Douini, I., Mounir, M., El Agy, A., Assouguem, A., Achiban, H., El Ghadraoui, L., & Dakki, M. (2021). Nest building, dimension, and selection of aromatic and medicinal twigs to repel ectoparasites in the European Turtle dove. Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology, 9(4), 2133. https://doi.org/10.31893/jabb.21033
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