Ardea
Official journal of the Netherlands Ornithologists' Union

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de Wilde J.J.F.E. & de Wilde P.A.W.J. (1965) Het voorkomen van de Sporenkievit (Hoplopterus spinosus) in Europa. ARDEA 53 (3-4): 161-171
When travelling through Greece on their way to Turkey the authors found two nests and at least one more pair of Spurwing Plovers (Hoplopterus spinosus) near Porto Lgo in NE Greece (Thracia), 25-29 May 1964. The nesting of this species in Europe has only recently been published. The occurrence of this bird in Europe during the last hundred years is discussed on the basis of a historical survey. From this it is clear that until recently the species visited Europe only as an irregular, stray guest. After Watson, in 1954, had suggested that this species might nest in Thracia, this presumption was confirmed in 1959 by the discovery of a nest at Porto Lgo, June 29, 1959, by members of the Dutch Biological Turkey Expedition (Hennipman et al. 1961). In the following years the species was found to be a regular nesting bird in Greece; in 1960 nests have been found by Bauer (1960), Raines (1962), and Watson (1961). It is suggested that the nesting of the species in Greece is no incidental settlement, but rather a general extension of the African nesting area, perhaps due to changes+ in temperature or aridity. The growing population in Greece consists of migratory birds, in contrast to the African birds, which are considered to be residents. The European nesting sites are characterized by flat grounds with low or scarce vegetation in the vicinity of water. The salinity of these sites seems to be of secondary importance. The authors describe the typically elongated shoulder feathers, which are used as a kind of parasol, probably connected with temperature regulation during nesting in bright sunshine. It is suggested that the association of nesting Stone Curlews (Burhinus oedicnemus) and Spurwing Plovers in the same habitat is to the mutual advantage of these species.


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