Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Diet of Morepork ( Ninox novaeseelandiae ) throughout New Zealand by analysis of stomach contents

TitleDiet of Morepork ( Ninox novaeseelandiae ) throughout New Zealand by analysis of stomach contents
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsHaw, JM, Clout, MN
JournalNotornis
Volume46
Issue3
Pagination333-345
Type of Articlepaper
Keywordsdiet, Insecta, Owl, Strigiformes
Abstract

The diet of the Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae) in New Zealand was investigated by analysing stomach contents. In the sample of 75 stomachs from throughout New Zealand, 1696 prey items were identified, 98% of them invertebrates. Major invertebrate prey taken included Lepidoptera, Coleoptera, and Orthoptera. Lepidoptera were consumed mostly in summer and Coleoptera in winter. Vertebrate prey were predominantly birds, but included one house mouse (Mus musculus). New dietary items included praying mantis (Dictyoptera), blowflies (Diptera), wasps (Hymenoptera), and slaters (Isopoda). Most prey was 20-50 mm in body length. Diets of male and female Moreporks were similar, as were those of North and South Island birds. As suggested from other studies, the diet of Moreporks is varied, but consists primarily of invertebrates. Food habits apparently reflect the seasonal abundance of prey.

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