Parental foraging strategies and feeding of nestlings in Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) Science Article 1


Spatial foraging activity and feeding of broods was studied in nine pairs of CommonRedstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) breeding in nest boxes in pine forest. The effect ofnestling age on feeding rate was not significant. The number of feedings per chick wassimilar in small andmediumsize broods but decreased in the largest broods. Feeding ratesin individual pairs did not differ between males and females. Mean nest visit durationwere longer for females. Incubation of the youngest chicks was probably the cause of significantdecrease of length of feeding visits by females during the chicks’ growth. Theproportion of foraging techniqueswas different betweenmales and females, and changedduring a nestlings’ life. Males foraged predominantly by perching (passive foragingmode) throughout the whole breeding period. Females also foraged mostly by perching,but with younger broods they frequently used an active foraging mode of foliage gleaning.The active foragingmode for younger broods could be either compensation of foragingefficiency for the time spent brooding, or caused by differences in prey selection at differentnestling ages, or active foraging does not pay off in the exploited habitat around thenest at the end of breeding.


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