An assemblage of wintering waders in coastal Kenya: Activity budget and habitat use

  • Fasola M
  • Biddau L
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Abstract

To contribute to the poorly known ecology of Palearctic immigrant waders in East Africa, we studied the foraging system (roosting and foraging behaviours, 24-h activity rhythm, time- activity budget and habitat use) of eleven wader species overwintering on the Kenyan coast. The waders congregated in communal roosts and completely overlapped in their foraging rhythms, which in this tidal environment were completely determined by tides, and which were independent of the dark/light cycle. All species, both tactile and visual foragers, fed both by day and by night. This study, along with similar findings for other areas of the Palaeotropics, shows that wader activity throughout the 24-h day is essentially uniform, and is only slightly influenced by the dark/light cycle, but is modified by tidal levels. The total time devoted to feeding by each wader species was related to their body mass. Each species used a specific micro-habitat for foraging.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Activity
  • Charadriiformes
  • Feeding
  • Habitat
  • Time budget

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Authors

  • M. Fasola

  • L. Biddau

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