Diptera assemblages in Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) nest boxes

  • Zoltán Soltész MTA Centre for Ecological Research https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3423-9258
  • Nándor Seres Bükk National Park Directorate H-3304 Eger, Sánc u. 6, Hungary http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9862-1101
  • Anikó Kovács-Hostyánszki Lendület Ecosystem Services Research Group, Centre for Ecological Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-2163 Vácrátót, Alkotmány u. 2–4, Hungary; Department of Zoology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, H-1088 Budapest, Baross u. 13, Hungary http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5906-4816
Keywords: bird nest, Carnus hemapterus, nest box cleaning, parasites, saprophytic flies


The Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) is a strictly protected raptor species in Hungary (ca 600 pairs). It naturally breeds in crow or magpie nests rebuilt every year, however, most of these nests disappeared during the 20th century. In the early 2000’s more than a three-thousand artificial nest boxes were installed in the country to increase the number of the breeding Red-footed Falcons. Since than the Red-footed Falcon population increased considerably, but the breeding birds might face with the growingnumber of parasites compared to their natural nesting habits. The nest material was collected from 59 nest boxes in Northern Hungary after the breeding season in 2009 (not cleaned for 3 years) and from 17 nest boxes in 2010 (cleaned in previous year). Emerging imagoes were identified to species level. Altogether 45487 individuals of 42 fly species (2010: 37, 2011: 14) were reared; 88.1% of that was Carnus hemapterus a known blood-sucking parasite. The number of C. hemapterus was significant higher in nests where the last breeding bird species was Common Kestrel than Red-footed Falcon. In freshly cleaned nest boxes one order of magnitude lower number of C. hemapterus specimens was found that proves the necessity of cleaning the boxes after breeding.

How to Cite
SoltészZ., SeresN., & Kovács-HostyánszkiA. (2018). Diptera assemblages in Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) nest boxes. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 64(1), 91-102. https://doi.org/10.17109/AZH.