Feeding specialization of urban long-eared owls, asio otus (linnaeus, 1758), in jerusalem, israel

Yossef Kiat, Gidon Perlman, Amir Balaban, Yossi Leshem, Motti Charter*, Ido Izhaki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The diet of Long-eared Owls (Asio otus) that breed and hunt within the grounds of a bird-ringing station located in a large city park in Jerusalem, Israel, was investigated. 13 species of bird were the most common prey group (91% by number) with a frequency of occurrence of 99% in pellets, with House Sparrows, Passer domesticus, and Blackcaps, Sylvia atricapilla, as the most frequent prey species (22% and 17% by number). 29% of the bird specimens found in pellets had been ringed at the ringing station. The frequency of residential and migratory passerines caught by Long-eared Owls and ringed at the ringing station was similar, whereas more migrants were captured and ringed during the spring than summer. A comparison of bird species that were hunted relative to their frequency in the habitat revealed that the owls caught more Sylvia warblers than expected. Long-eared Owls in this study most probably specialised on birds because of the abundance of passerines and the lack of small mammals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-54
Number of pages6
JournalZoology in the Middle East
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Asio otus
  • Diet
  • Israel
  • Long-eared Owl
  • Prey selection

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