Research Article

Food profile of Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea during an annual cycle in the Algerian Babors Mountains of North Africa

Published in: Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology
Volume 90, issue 1, 2019 , pages: 45–52
DOI: 10.2989/00306525.2018.1543214
Author(s): Roza BelkacemLaboratoire de Zoologie Appliquée et d’Écophysiologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la Vie, Algeria, Abdelazize Franck BougahamLaboratoire de Zoologie Appliquée et d’Écophysiologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la Vie, Algeria, Mohammed GagaouaUniversité Clermont Auvergne, France, Riadh MoulaïLaboratoire de Zoologie Appliquée et d’Écophysiologie Animale, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la Vie, Algeria

Abstract

This study showed from the analysis of 180 droppings of the Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea harvested during a period of one year from the Babors Mountains (Bejaia, Algeria) that insects formed the main part of the diet (85.9% of identified items). The other food categories included arachnids, crustaceans and gastropods. Among the insects, Coleoptera (beetles) was the main order consisting of 37.4% of identified items. The most frequently recorded family was Baetidae (Ephemeroptera; 9.8%). At the prey-taxa level, an unidentified Baetidae was the most frequently encountered and represented 9.7% of the diet. This species was present in the diet throughout the year. Prey taxa classified as aquatic were more frequently encountered (54.2%) compared with those considered terrestrial. This study showed that seasonal fluctuations in the diet of Grey Wagtail were very weak. Prey size ranged from 0.2 to 30.5 mm, with an average of 8.9 mm. Overall, this study showed that Grey wagtail fed on species of a wide variety of taxa, with little variation across the year.

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