Friday, August 23, 2019

The diet of New Zealand falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae) on the Auckland Islands, New Zealand

TitleThe diet of New Zealand falcons (Falco novaeseelandiae) on the Auckland Islands, New Zealand
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsHyde, NHS, Worthy, TH
JournalNotornis
Volume57
Issue1
Pagination19-26
Type of ArticleFull article
KeywordsAuckland Islands, diet, Falco novaeseelandiae, New Zealand Falcon, prey remains, rangle stones, seabirds
Abstract

Prey remains and regurgitated pellets of New Zealand falcons Falco novaeseelandiae, from Adams I in the Auckland Is, were collected to determine the diet of this species in the subantarctic part of their range. Dissection of pellets revealed 1588 bones from 215 individuals of 18 species of birds preyed upon. Feathers associated with the remains supported the bone identifications. Rangle stones were also collected. The presence of procellariiform seabirds in the diet of falcons suggests some nocturnal hunting. While the single most frequent prey species was the bellbird (Anthornis melanura), Antarctic prion (Pachyptila desolata) and subantarctic diving petrel (Pelecanoides urinatrix exsul) were also common. When measured by prey weight, endemic land birds such as Auckland I rail (Lewinia muelleri), Auckland I snipe (Coenocorypha aucklandica aucklandica), and Auckland I teal (Anas aucklandica) constituted a third of the prey. Like many island birds, these ground-dwelling species cannot co-exist with introduced mammalian predators, but survive despite predation by native falcons.

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