Foraging proficiency during the nonbreeding season of a specialized forager: are juvenile American Oystercatchers "bumble-beaks" compared to adults?

Condor
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR); South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); Clemson University; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By: , and 

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Abstract

In many species, immature individuals are less proficient at foraging than are adults, and this difference may be especially critical during winter when survival can be at its minimum. We investigated the foraging proficiency of adult and immature American Oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus) during the nonbreeding season. Oystercatchers forage on prey that must be handled with specialized skills, so age-related differences in foraging behavior may be expected. We found that adults spent more time searching than did immatures, a trend toward immatures taking longer to handle prey than did adults, and immatures more often handling prey unsuccessfully than did adults. Feeding rates and diet composition did not differ by age class. We posit that the immature birds traded off longer handling times with shorter searching times and that ultimately the abundant prey in the region may contribute to the ability of immature birds to feed at rates similar to those of adults.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Foraging proficiency during the nonbreeding season of a specialized forager: are juvenile American Oystercatchers "bumble-beaks" compared to adults?
Series title Condor
DOI 10.1525/cond.2010.100031
Volume 112
Issue 4
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Cooper Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 6 p.
First page 670
Last page 675
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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