Seasonal and geographic differences in the diet of the Barn Owl in an agro-ecosystem in northern Italy

Citation
M. Bose et F. Guidali, Seasonal and geographic differences in the diet of the Barn Owl in an agro-ecosystem in northern Italy, J RAPT RES, 35(3), 2001, pp. 240-246
Citations number
49
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences
Journal title
JOURNAL OF RAPTOR RESEARCH
ISSN journal
0892-1016 → ACNP
Volume
35
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Pages
240 - 246
Database
ISI
SICI code
0892-1016(200109)35:3<240:SAGDIT>2.0.ZU;2-T
Abstract
We studied the dietary niche breadth of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) in the Po plain of northern Italy. A total of 1266 pellets was collected during 2 yr in an agricultural area located between Mantova and Brescia. Bones of 4455 prey items were identified with small mammals, in particular rodents and In sectivora, the most important dietary component and birds (Passeriformes) c omprising most of the remainder of the diet. Arthropods were occasionally e aten and amphibians and bats were rare in the diet. Two families of rodents (Microtidae and Muridae) were the Most important dietary components. Membe rs of the order Insectivora were complementary prey, showing an increase in winter when voles declined. In summer, a significant increase of birds was seen. Dietary composition and niche overlap were tested on diets of two pa irs of owls. One pair ate mostly voles and the other pair ate birds more fr equently. Nevertheless, niche overlap was high because of the similarity be tween the nest sites used by the two pairs.