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The diet of the night heron and purple heron in the Guadalquivir Marshes

Montesinos, Alicia and Santoul, Frédéric and Green, Andy J. The diet of the night heron and purple heron in the Guadalquivir Marshes. (2008) Ardeola, 55 (2). 161-167. ISSN 0570-7358

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Official URL: http://www.ardeola.org/volume/55%282%29/article/161-167/1403?lang=en

Abstract

Aims: To compare the diet of chicks of night heron Nycticorax nycticorax and purple heron Ardea Purpurea in the Guadalquivir Marshes. To compare the diet of night heron during breeding and non-breeding seasons. To establish whether the diet of purple heron in Doñana has changed over the past 30 years in response to changes in land use and habitat quality. Location: Heronries in the Guadalquivir Marshes, including the natural marshes of Doñana National Park and transformed marshes dominated by ricefields outside the National Park. Methods: Collection of regurgitates from purple heron chicks (n = 52) and night heron chicks (n = 12) during ringing operations in 2001-2002. Collection of pellets (n = 80) under daytime roosts of night herons in 2001-2002. Results: Purple heron regurgitates were dominated by carp Cyprinus carpio, recorded in 84.6 % of samples and representing 73.3 % of all prey items. Odonata nymphs were present in 13.5 % of samples and aquatic Coleoptera in 9.6 %. Regurgitates from night heron chicks were also dominated by carp, recorded in 83.3 % of the samples and representing 76.3 % of prey items. Coleoptera larvae were present in 25 % of samples. There was no difference in the size of carp consumed by the two species, but carp taken by purple heron were larger in 2002. Night heron pellets collected outside the breeding season lacked fish and were dominated by red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii, present in 86.2 % of pellets and representing 44.4 % of prey items. Terrestrial insects were also abundant in pellets.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Spanish Society of Ornithology (SEO/Birdlife)editor. The definitive version is available at http://www.ardeola.org/volume/55%282%29/article/161-167/1403?lang=en
Audience (journal):National peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - CSIC (SPAIN)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UPS (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
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Deposited By: Frédéric Santoul
Deposited On:05 Dec 2013 09:33

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