1. bookVolume 10 (2016): Issue 1 (December 2016)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2644-5247
First Published
09 Nov 2012
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1 time per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Landscape-related variation in the diet composition of the common buzzard (Buteo buteo) in Belarus

Published Online: 13 Dec 2016
Volume & Issue: Volume 10 (2016) - Issue 1 (December 2016)
Page range: 65 - 74
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2644-5247
First Published
09 Nov 2012
Publication timeframe
1 time per year
Languages
English
Abstract

We examined common buzzard (Buteo buteo) feeding patterns in landscapes with different habitat structure in Belarus. A total of 561 pellets and prey remains were sampled in 1998-2012 from which 1065 prey and other food items were identified. Effects of habitat structure on buzzard diet composition were investigated using correlation analysis. The most abundant group in buzzards’ diets were small rodents (49-80% of the biomass consumed), followed by other mammals and birds. Reptiles, anurans, fish and invertebrates constituted the rest. Proportions of all food items varied greatly between landscapes. The mean-weighted body mass of vertebrate prey hunted by common buzzards in different landscapes ranged from 107 to 244 g, constituting on average 180 g. Among small rodents, voles of the genus Microtus were hunted selectively. The food niche breadth was directly proportional to the amount of forest habitat. With increasing amount of forest habitat, the proportion of Microtus voles in buzzards’ diets decreased and the proportions of other food items grew. These findings confirm the majority of previous results indicating feeding opportunism of the common buzzard. Our investigation enables better understanding of predator-prey interactions and the prey choice of the common buzzard in Belarus.

Keywords

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