1. bookVolume 41 (2020): Issue 184-185 (November 2020)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2199-6067
First Published
21 Oct 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

The diet, and pellet residue taphonomy, of Barn Owls Tyto alba on a Greek island reveals an exceptional diversity of avian prey

Published Online: 14 Dec 2021
Volume & Issue: Volume 41 (2020) - Issue 184-185 (November 2020)
Page range: 3 - 24
Received: 19 Nov 2019
Accepted: 22 Sep 2020
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
eISSN
2199-6067
First Published
21 Oct 2009
Publication timeframe
4 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Barn Owl Tyto alba pellets and loose bones on a cave floor from Amorgos (Cyclades, Greece) were examined and the birds found to have caught at least 39 species of bird, mostly identified from humeri, plus shrews Crocidura suaveolens, a few lizards and dung beetles, in addition to their principal diet of rodents (rats Rattus rattus, mice Apodemus spp. & Mus musculus). Amongst the birds, migrants appeared most vulnerable to owl predation, with some notable exceptions, while resident species were under-represented. The range of bird species found appears to be the largest recorded for any Barn Owl study of a single site. Considerable differences were found in species proportions of taxa in fresh pellets and in loose bones, probably due to differential rates of degradation. Photographs of all humeri are included to aid identification in other studies.

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