Effects of heat treatment of nests on ectoparasite numbers and chick development in blue tits Parus caeruleus breeding in nest boxes in north-eastern Algeria

  • Published source details Bouslama Z., Lambrechts M.M., Ziane N., Djenidi R. & Chabi Y. (2002) The effect of nest ectoparasites on parental provisioning in a north-African population of the blue tit Parus caeruleus. Ibis, 144


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Remove ectoparasites from nests to increase survival or reproductive success

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Remove ectoparasites from nests to increase survival or reproductive success

    A small randomised, controlled study over three breeding seasons in north-eastern Algeria (Bouslama et al. 2002) found that blue tit Parus caeruleus nests that were heat treated with a microwave (three minutes heating at 830 W) had significantly fewer blowflies Protocalliphora spp. than control (unheated) nests (2.0 flies/nest for ten experimental nests vs. 54.9 flies/nest for eleven controls). Experimental nests also had lower numbers of ticks Ixodes ricinus and hen fleas Ceratophyllus gallinae (8.8 ticks/nest and 3.1 fleas/nest for experimental nests vs. 20.5 ticks/nest and 15.1 fleas/nest for controls), but these differences were not significant after controlling for confounding factors. Growth rates of chicks did not differ between treatments but more chicks fledged from treated nests compared to controls (6.0 chicks/nest vs. 4.6 chicks/nest).


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