Diet of the Red-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax in south-east Spain

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1993
Journal:Bird Study
Volume:40
Issue:3
Date Published:1993
ISBN Number:0006-3657
Keywords:Coloeus, Coloeus monedula, Corvidae, Pyrrhocorax, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, Spain
Abstract:A sample of 140 Red-billed Chough pellets (35 from each season) was collected from communal roosting sites in south-east Spain. In almost every pellet there were three distinct dietary fractions: animal, vegetable and mineral. The animal faction constituted nearly 50% of the pellet volume in each of the four seasons. Wild grains and cultivated cereals were the most important vegetable elements, while 60% of animal prey (n= 3484) were beetles (mainly Tenebrionidae). There was marked seasonal variation in the composition of both the vegetable and animal fractions, the latter associated mainly with variation in the occurrence of Orthoptera, Lepidoptera larvae and Formicidae. Mixed flocks of Choughs and Jackdaws were common in the study area though agonistic interspecific interactions were never observed. The diets of the two species differ in that Choughs eat more beetles and wild seeds, whilst Jackdaws prefer ants and cereals. These observations support the hypothesis that competition from Jackdaws is not responsible for the reduction in the Chough's range.A sample of 140 Red-billed Chough pellets (35 from each season) was collected from communal roosting sites in south-east Spain. In almost every pellet there were three distinct dietary fractions: animal, vegetable and mineral. The animal faction constituted nearly 50% of the pellet volume in each of the four seasons. Wild grains and cultivated cereals were the most important vegetable elements, while 60% of animal prey (n= 3484) were beetles (mainly Tenebrionidae). There was marked seasonal variation in the composition of both the vegetable and animal fractions, the latter associated mainly with variation in the occurrence of Orthoptera, Lepidoptera larvae and Formicidae. Mixed flocks of Choughs and Jackdaws were common in the study area though agonistic interspecific interactions were never observed. The diets of the two species differ in that Choughs eat more beetles and wild seeds, whilst Jackdaws prefer ants and cereals. These observations support the hypothesis that competition from Jackdaws is not responsible for the reduction in the Chough's range.
URL:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00063659309477186
Short Title:Bird Study
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith