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

  • Kiat Y
  • Perlman G
  • Balaban A
 et al. 
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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 occurence 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 station. The frequency of residential and migratory passerines caught by Long-eared Owls and ringed at the station was similar, whereas more migrants were captured and ringed during te 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.

Author-supplied keywords

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

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  • Motti CharterHebrew University of Jerusalem

  • ido izhakiUniversity of Haifa Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology

  • Yossef Kiat

  • Gidon Perlman

  • Amir Balaban

  • Yossi Leshem

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