A comparative study of the diurnal behaviour of the Northern Shoveller (Anas clypeata) during the wintering season at Garaet Hadj-Tahar (North-East Algeria) and Garaet Timerganine (Algerian highlands)

Sophia METALLAOUI, Mohamed Chérif MAAZI, Menouar SAHEB, Moussa HOUHAMDI, Christophe BARBRAUD
617 190


The rhythms of the Northern Shoveller's (Anas clypeata Linnaeus, 1758) activities during its wintering period in 2 wetlands, Garaet Hadj-Tahar (North-East Algeria) and Garaet Timerganine (Oum El-Bouaghi, Algerian highlands), were studied during 2 wintering seasons in Garaet Hadj-Tahar from November 2007 to March 2008 and November 2008 to March 2009, and in the Timerganine wetland from November 2007 to March 2008. They were linked to certain spatiotemporal variables, i.e. daytime activities and 2 different wetlands. During the wintering season, the main activity at Garaet Hadj-Tahar was sleeping (70%), followed by swimming (12%). By contrast, feeding was the dominant activity at Garaet Timerganine, occurring 45% of the total monitoring time, followed by sleeping (35%). The frequency of the behaviours did not differ significantly between the sites as a function of the date (P > 0.05). The choice of the site was made according to either the feeding resources or the resting place. These factors are therefore essential and highlight the importance of the protection of the sites where the species is concentrated outside of the breeding period.


Key words: Northern Shoveller, wetlands, wintering, season activity budget, behaviour

Full Text:



Adair SE, Moore JL, Kiel WH (1996). Wintering diving duck use of coastal ponds: an analysis of alternative hypotheses. J Wildl Manag 60: 83–93.

Aissaoui R, Houhamdi M, Samraoui B (2009). Eco-éthologie des Fuligules nyroca Aythya nyroca dans le Lac Tonga (Site Ramsar, Parc National d’El-Kala, Nord-Est de l’Algérie). Eur J Sci Res 28: 47–59.

Altmann J (1974). Observational study of behaviour: sampling methods. Behaviour 4: 227–267.

Andrews J (1995). Waterbodies. In: Sutherland WJ and Hill DA, editors. Managing Habitats for Conservation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 121–148.

Austin JE (2002). Responses of dabbling ducks to wetland conditions in the Prairie Pothole region. Waterbirds 25: 465–473.

Baldassarre GA, Paulus SL, Tamisier A, Titman RD (1988). Workshop summary: techniques for timing activity of wintering waterfowl. In: Weller MW, editor. Waterfowl in Winter. Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 181–188.

Battisti C, Aglitti C, Sorace A, Trotta M (2006). Water level and its effect on the breeding bird community in a remnant wetland in Central Italy. Ekologia Bratislava 25: 252–263.

Battisti CI, Luiselli L, Pantano D, Teofili C (2008). On threats analysis approach applied to a Mediterranean remnant wetland: is the assessment of human-induced threats related to different level of expertise of respondents? Biodiv Conserv 16: 1529–1542.

Bellrose FC (1976). Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America: A Wildlife Management Institute Book. 2nd ed. Harrisburg, PA, USA: Stackpole Books.

Bensaci E, Saheb M, Nouidjem Y, Bouzegag A, Houhamdi M (2013). Biodiversité de l’avifaune aquatique des zones humides sahariennes: cas de la dépression d’Oued Righ (Algérie). Physio-Géo Géographie Physique et Environnement 7: 31–42.

Bibby CJ, Hill DA, Burgess ND, Mustoe S (2000). Bird Census Technique. 2nd ed. London, UK: Academic Press.

Boertmann D, Ricet F (2006). Effects of changing water levels on numbers of staging dabbling ducks in a Danish wetland. Waterbirds 29: 1–8.

Boulekhssaim M, Houhamdi M, Samraoui B (2006a). Status and diurnal behaviour of the Shelduck Tadorna tadorna in the Hauts Plateaux, Northeast Algeria. Wildfowl 56: 65–78.

Boulekhssaim M, Houhamdi M, Saheb M, Samraoui-Chenafi F, Samraoui B (2006b). Breeding and banding of Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus in Algeria, August 2006. Flamingo 14: 21–24.

Briggs B (2007). The use of waterbodies in South-West London by Gadwall and Shoveler: implications for nature conservation. PhD, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Campbell LH (1978). Diurnal and tidal behaviour patterns of eiders wintering at Leith. Wildfowl 29: 147–152.

Causarano F, Battisti C (2009). Effect of seasonal water level decrease on a sensitive bird assemblage in a Mediterranean wetland. Rendiconti Lincei 20: 211–218.

Causarano F, Battisti C, Sorace A (2009). Effect of winter water stress on the breeding bird assemblage of a remnant wetland in Central Italy. Revue d’Ėcologie (Terre Vie) 64: 61–72.

Dehorter O, Tamisier A (1996). Wetland habitat characteristics for waterfowl wintering in Camargue, France: implications for conservation. Revue d’Ėcologie (Terre Vie) 51: 161–172.

Fretwell SD (1972). Populations in a Seasonal Environment. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.

Guillemain M, Fritz H, Duncan P (2002). Foraging strategies of granivorous dabbling ducks wintering in protected areas of the French Atlantic coast. Biodiversity Conserv 11: 1721–1732.

Hepworth G, Hamilton AJ (2001). Scan sampling and waterfowl activity budget studies: design and analysis considerations. Behaviour 138: 1391–1405.

Hollis GE (1986). The modelling and management of the internationally important wetland at Garaet el Ichkeul, Tunisia. Slimbridge, UK: IWRB Special Publication 4.

Holm TE, Clausen P (2006). Effects of water level management on autumn staging waterbird and macrophyte diversity in three Danish coastal lagoons. Biodiv Conserv 15: 4399–4423.

Houhamdi M (2002). Ecologie des peuplements aviens du Lac des Oiseaux (Numidie orientale). PhD, Badji Mokhtar University, Annaba, Algeria.

Houhamdi M, Hafid H, Seddik S, Bouzegag A, Nouidjem Y, Bensaci T, Maazi MC, Saheb M (2008). Hivernage des Grues cendrées Grus grus dans le complexe des zones humides des hautes plaines de l’Est algérien. Aves 45: 93–103.

Houhamdi M, Maazi MC, Seddik S, Bouaguel L, Bougoudjil S, Saheb M (2009). Statut et écologie de l’Erismature à tête blanche Oxyura leucocephala dans les zones humides des hautes plaines de l’Est algérien. Aves 46: 129–148.

Houhamdi M, Samraoui B (2001). Diurnal time budget of wintering Teal Anas crecca crecca L. at Lac des Oiseaux, northeast Algeria. Wildfowl 52: 87–96.

Houhamdi M, Samraoui B (2003). Diurnal behaviour of wintering Wigeon Anas penelope in Lac des Oiseaux, northeast Algeria. Wildfowl 54: 51–62.

Houhamdi M, Samraoui B (2008). Diurnal and nocturnal behaviour of Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca at Lac des Oiseaux, northeast Algeria. Ardeola 55: 59–69

King JR (1974). Seasonal allocation of time and energy resources in birds. In: Paynter RA, editor. Avian Energetics. Publication 15. Cambridge, MA, USA: Nuttall Ornithological Club, pp. 4–70.

Krapu GL (1981). The role of nutriment reserves in mallard reproduction. Auk 98: 29–38.

Krapu GL, Pietz J, Brandt DA, Cox RR Jr (2006). Mallard brood movements, wetland use, and duckling survival during and following a prairie drought. J Wildl Manage 70: 1436–1444.

Levene H (1960). Robust tests for the equality of variance. In: Olkin I, editor. Contributions to Probability and Statistics. Palo Alto, CA, USA: Stanford University Press, pp. 278–292.

Losito MP, Mirarchi E, Baldassare GA (1989). New techniques for time activity studies of avian flocks in view-restricted habitats. J Field Ornithol 60: 388–396.

Maazi MC (2009). Eco-éthologie des Anatidés hivernants dans l’étang de Timerganine (Ain Zitoune, Wilaya d’Oum El-Bouaghi). PhD, Badji Mokhtar University, Annaba, Algeria.

McKinney FC (1970). Displays of four species of blue-winged ducks. Living Bird 9: 29–64.

McNeil R, Drapeau P, Goss-Custard JD (1992). The occurrence and adaptive significance of nocturnal habits in waterfowl. Biol Rev 67: 381–419.

Metallaoui S (2010). Ecologie de l’avifaune aquatique de Garaet HadjTahar (Numidie occidentale). PhD, Badji Mokhtar University, Annaba, Algeria.

Metallaoui S, Atoussi S, Merzoug A, Houhamdi M (2009). Hivernage de l’Erismature à tête blanche Oxyura leucocephala dans Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, Nord-Est de l’Algérie). Aves 46: 136–140.

Metallaoui S, Houhamdi M (2008). Données préliminaires sur l’avifaune aquatique de la Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, Nord-est algérien). Afri Bird Club Bull 15: 71–76.

Metallaoui S, Houhamdi M (2011). Biodiversité et écologie de l’avifaune aquatique hivernante dans Garaet Hadj-Tahar (Skikda, Nord-Est de l’Algérie). Hydroécologie App 17: 1–16.

Morrison DF (1967). Multivariate Statistical Methods. New York, NY, USA: McGraw Hill.

Norman FI, Thomson LW, Hamilton JG (1979). Use of habitat and diurnal activity of Pacific Black Duck, Chestnut Teal and Grey Teal at Serendip, Victoria. Emu 79: 54–62.

Nummy P, Pöysä H (1995). Breeding success of ducks in relation to different habitat factors. Ibis 137: 145–150.

O’Donoghue PD, O’Halloran J (1994). The behaviour of a wintering flock of whooper swans Cygnus cygnus at Rostellan Lake, Cork. Biology and Environment: Proc Roy Irish Acad 94(B): 109–118.

Paulus SL (1988). The winter ecology of the Gadwall in Louisiana. MSc, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND, USA.

Pirot JY, Chessel D, Tamisier A (1984). Exploitation alimentaire des zones humides de Camargue par cinq espèces de canards de surface en hivernage et en transit: modélisation spatiotemporelle. Revue d’Ėcologie (Terre Vie) 39: 167–192.

Poston HJ (1974). Home range and breeding biology of the Shoveler. Report Series No. 25. Ottawa, ON, Canada: Canadian Wildlife Service.

Pöysä H (1983). Resource utilization pattern and guild structure in a waterfowl community. Oikos 40: 295–307.

Rave DP, Baldassarre GA (1989). Activity budget of Green-winged Teal wintering in coastal wetlands of Louisiana. J Wildl Manage 53: 753–759.

Ricklefs RE (1974). Energetics of reproduction in birds. In: Paynter RA, editor. Avian Energetics. Publication 15. Cambridge, MA, USA: Nuttall Ornithological Club, pp. 152–297.

Rizzo E, Battisti C (2009). Habitat preferences of Anatidae (Aves, Anseriformes) in a Mediterranean patchy wetland (Central Italy). Journal Ekológia (Bratislava) 28: 66–73.

Rose PM, Scott DA (1994). Waterfowl Population Estimates. Slimbridge, UK: IWRB Publications, No. 29.

Saheb M, Boulkhssaim M, Ouldjaoui A, Houhamdi M, Samraoui B (2006). Sur la nidification du Flamant rose Phoenicopterus roseus en 2003 et 2004 en Algérie. Alauda 74: 368–371.

Samraoui B, Ouldjaoui A, Boulkhssaim M, Houhamdi M, Saheb M, Bechet A (2006). The first recorded reproduction of the Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus in Algeria: behavioural and ecological aspects. Ostrich 77: 153–159.

Seymour NR (1974). Territorial behaviour of wild Shovelers at Delta, Manitoba. Wildfowl 25: 49–55.

Skead, DM (1977). Diurnal activity budgets of Anatini during winter. Ostrich Suppl 65–74.

Sutherland WJ, Gosling LM (2000). Advances in the study of behaviour and their role in conservation. In: Gosling LM and Sutherland WJ, editors. Behaviour and Conservation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 3–9.

Takeschi M, Fumio S, Kiyoshi I, Kanji A (1994). The relation between the feeding activity of wintering shovelers (Anas clypeata) and the horizontal distribution of zooplankton in Lake Teganuma, Japan. Hydrobiologia 294: 253–261.

Tamisier A, Grillas P (1994). A review of habitat changes in the Camargue: an assessment of the effects of the loss of biological diversity on the wintering waterfowl community. Biol Conservation 70: 39–47.

Tamisier A, Dehorter O (1996). Autumn pairing and wintering strategies: an adaptive response to environmental winter conditions. Wetlands International Publications 43: 121–129.

Tamisier A, Dehorter O (1999). Camargue, Canards et Foulques: Fonctionnement d’un prestigieux quartier d’hiver. Nîmes, France: Centre Ornithologique du Gard.

Zemouchi N, Ounis Y (2004). Cartographie de la végétation et étude du dynamisme végétale de la Garaet Timerganine (Oum ElBouaghi). State Engineering Degree, University of Larbi Ben M’hidi, Oum El-Bouaghi, Algeria.