The ecology of stork colonies in south Asia arevery poorly understood. Factors affecting provisioning times by adults wereevaluated at nests of two stork species, the Asian Openbill (Anastomus oscitans) and the LesserAdjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), in lowlandNepal where the landscape is dominated by multi-cropped agriculture fields. Analysesfocused on understanding if provisioning times are influenced more due to colony-levelvariables, wetlands around colonies, or season. Using generalized additivemixed models and the information-theoretic approach, colony-level variables (broodsize and chick age) showed non-trivial associations with provisioning times (substantiallybetter than the null model). Univariate models with colony size and wetlands hadpoor support (worse than the null model). Season, which represented thechanging cropping patterns, rainfall, and wetness on the landscape, was the mostimportant variable for both species. The combination of season and wetlands wasvery important for provisioning Asian Openbills whose chicks fledged during themonsoon (July–October), but not for Lesser Adjutants whose chicks fledged inthe drier winter months (November–February). Results strongly suggest thatchanging cropping patterns to a drier monsoonal crop, or reductions in wetlandextents, will be detrimental to storks in Nepal.
Waterbirds, 39: 365-374. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1675/063.039.0406