The relative importance of arthropods and fruits in foraging behavior of omnivorous tanagers (Thraupidae): The comparison of three methods

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Abstract

I quantified the foraging ecology of omnivorous Tangara tanagers with three methods commonly used in the study of foraging behavior. The relative importance of two food types, arthropods and fruits, varied largely depending on which method was used for data analyses. Arthropod foraging was more important than fruit foraging when calculated using the duration of foraging. In contrast, fruit foraging was more important when characterized by the food taken at initial observation and the total number of food items taken. This bias was probably caused by the difference in distribution and abundance of these two food types. Although numerous studies have used the frequency of initial observations to quantify bird foraging behavior, this method tends to underestimate the importance of highly rewarding but scarce food types in time budgets and tends to overestimate the same food type in the number of food items in birds' diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalCondor
Volume105
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Duration
  • Ecuador
  • Foraging behavior
  • Frequency
  • Omnivorous birds
  • Tangara

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