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Shorebird diet and size selection of nereid polychaetes in South Carolina coastal diked wetlands

Journal of Field Ornithology

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Abstract

Coastal wetlands that are diked and managed may supplement declining natural habitat for migrating shorebirds (Charadriiformes). However, data on shorebird diet in these diked wetlands are scarce. We examined shorebird diet and prey size selection in brackish diked wetlands at the Yawkey Center on South Island, South Carolina, USA. Gut contents of seven Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) and seven Short-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus griseus) were examined. The most common items in gut contents were mandibles of the nereid polychaete, Laeonereis culveri, followed by insects. L. culveri eaten by Short-billed Dowitchers were significantly larger than those eaten by Lesser Yellowlegs. This difference may be related to differences in bill length and feeding tactics. We make suggestions on how to maintain high numbers of L. culveri in diked wetlands, but more research on the timing of colonization by invertebrates is needed in shorebird conservation efforts.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Shorebird diet and size selection of nereid polychaetes in South Carolina coastal diked wetlands
Series title:
Journal of Field Ornithology
Volume
68
Issue:
3
Year Published:
1997
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description:
p. 358-366
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Journal of Field Ornithology
First page:
358
Last page:
366
Number of Pages:
9