Detalle Publicación


An experimental evaluation of the influence of water depth and bottom color on the Common kingfisher's foraging performance

Título de la revista: BEHAVIOURAL PROCESSES
ISSN: 0376-6357
Volumen: 98
Páginas: 25 - 30
Fecha de publicación: 2013
To investigate how depth and bottom color affect prey selectivity in Common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), we developed several experimental procedures using captive birds. We used 20 young kingfishers to test depth (25 or 50 cm) and color (natural gravel or white) effects on foraging behavior. Live freshwater fish were used as target prey. To assess differences resulting from the natural behavior of different fish, we chose bottom-dwelling [Ebro barbel (Barbus graellsii)] and open-water benthopelagic species [Ebro nase (Parachondrostoma miegii) and Pyrenean minnow (Phoxinus bigerri)]. The number of attempts and captures, as well as the effects of hunger and experience, were assessed relative to feeding behavior. The effect of fish behavior, as observed in grouped vs. isolated fish, on the kingfisher's performance was also tested. The results showed a significant effect of depth, with more attacks and greater success in shallow waters. No significant differences in catch success between natural- and white-colored bottoms were observed. Hunger had no effect on fishing success, but experience had a positive effect in shallow waters and on white bottoms. Both bottom- and open-water species were consumed equally. Kingfishers preyed more often upon grouped prey than upon isolated prey, although capture success did not vary between the two cases. Our results suggest that kingfishers prey upon the most accessible types of prey.