Feeding preferences and foraging behaviour in the Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris

Alpine Accentor (Prunella collaris) Science Article 4


In flocks of Alpine Accentors (Prunella collaris), we observed the foraging behaviour of birds when they were foraging on a grid containing clumps of seeds. We measured the feeding rate, diet diversity, individual and seasonal feeding preferences and dominance in birds. Producing and scrounging were frequently observed and they often involved aggressive interactions.Most birds used both tactics to obtain food.We found that foraging method was not related to dominance. No significant differences in feeding rate and diet diversity were detected between dominant and subordinate birds. The Alpine Accentors showed a strong degree of heterogenity in their food specialisations in different seasons. Calculations of nutritive values of diet showed that birds received relatively more carbohydrates in the autumn than in spring orwinter. In the ‘snowy’ seasons, the diet contained a relatively highnumber of lipids.Birds also had significant individual food preferences

M. Janiga & M. Novotna, Ornis Fennica 83:170-180. 2006

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