Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Prey Size Selection by Tree Swallows

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1985
Authors:Quinney, TE, C. Ankney, D
Journal:The Auk
Date Published:1985
ISBN Number:00048038
Keywords:Hirundinidae, Hirundo, Hirundo rustica, Iridoprocne, Iridoprocne bicolor, Tachycineta, Tachycineta bicolor
Abstract:Diets were determined for Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) that collected flying insects for nestlings and foraged at two locations, 3.25 km apart, where food abundance differed. At both locations, more than 99% of prey in the diets were 10 mm or less in length and at least 95% of the diets consisted of insects from the orders Diptera and Homoptera. Regardless of location, Tree Swallows were selective in the sizes of prey that they delivered to their young. They chose more valuable prey but did not completely reject less valuable items, and the diet was closer to the optimum at the location where food abundance was greatest.
Short Title:The Auk
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith