Food habits of the green-backed heron have received much attention recently, though little data exists in the literature on food items fed to nestlings. Analysis of 74 nestling boluses collected between 5 May and 10 July 1985 included four categories: a) number of prey items, b) % of total individuals by number, c) % frequency of herons with that particular prey item, d) % of total diet by weight. By class, fish dominated the diet, followed by insects, amphibians, crustaceans, and arachnids in descending order. Amphibians, however, had a higher % of total diet by weight than insects. The mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) made up the largest part of the diet by # of prey items and % of total individuals by #. Bowfin (Amia calva) was the major prey item by weight. Back-swimmers (F. Notonectidae) occurred in more boluses than any other prey item. Lengths of prey items by class will also be discussed.
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Food of nestling green-backed herons in West Central Mississippi