Updated: Jun 29
This season (October 2019 - April 2020) was very interesting the new reproductive record of a couple in the areas we visited for observation of the white-bellied seedsnipe.
In the last three seasons, although there was a record of adults, no chicks or juveniles were observed. In the same way, in the April-May migration season when they migrate north, looking for similar environments in the steppe. Juveniles were not observed.
This year the weather conditions were very favorable for reproduction unlike other years (last three seasons)
The year 2019 was very particular from the point of view of snowfall, although there were late snowfalls in September and October. Furthermore, a lot of accumulated snow with few places to feed the white-bellied seedsnipe was not an obstacle in reproduction.
The main cause was that the conditions improved in mid-November and December, the temperature was higher than normal, in its environment between 600 meters to 900 meters in height, favoring reproduction.
In this photo taken by one of our passengers, they clearly show us the snow conditions that existed in early November. One of the pair is observed in the few places that are not covered in snow. The following photos of Barry Mckenzie:
In the last three seasons the late snowfalls were not as important, the accumulation of snow was not like this season September / October 2019.
It should be noted that the other seasons, if there were snowfalls and low temperatures above 400 meters, it may have influenced and generated that the White-bellied Seedsnipe has not reproduced in the last three years. The snowfall continued until November and December, a few days.
Another interesting fact that helps the theory of the importance of climatic conditions influenced reproduction was the presence of the pair of peregrine falcons who do not use this area for reproduction every year, did not imply reproductive risk as in another year with a record clearing of remaining plumage from a dead bird (an individual of white-bellied Seedsnipe).
This year we were able to record the chicks with photos, on different dates, in January that you can see the size and then compare thanks to the second photo taken by John Holmes, a bird watcher from the United Kingdom, the size variation is one month.
In both cases, the detail of the behavior was similar as on other occasions the couple moves apart, we assume that the male (due to coloration) is separated from the female and the chicks.
Normally in the early age I have observed 5 chicks and the most common is that they survive or reach juvenile age with the ability to migrate.
These data are interesting and above all that our passengers like in this case Barry Mackenzie and John Holmes have helped us with their photos. Thank you both for trusting us and providing us with your photos.