Foraging behaviour and diet of a reintroduced population of the South Island saddleback ( Philesturnus carunculatus carunculatus )
|Title||Foraging behaviour and diet of a reintroduced population of the South Island saddleback ( Philesturnus carunculatus carunculatus )|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2000|
|Type of Article||paper|
|Keywords||diet, foraging, New Zealand, Philesturnus carunculatus carunculatus, reintroduction, South Island saddleback, translocation|
The South Island saddleback (Philesturnus carunculatus carunculatus) is one of two subspecies of the New Zealand saddleback. Despite the endangered status of this subspecies, it was not studied in detail until 1994, when 26 birds were released onto Motuara Island in the Marlborough Sounds of New Zealand. I report the foraging behaviour and diet of this reintroduced population during the first breeding season after release. South Island saddlebacks used their bills in a variety of ways when foraging, and were predominantly insectivorous. They obtained most food from the ground and five-finger (Pseudopanax arboreus), and the number of prey captured generally reflected the amount of time saddlebacks spent on foraging substrates. North and South Island saddlebacks are very similar in terms of foraging behaviour, prey handling techniques and types of invertebrate prey consumed. The foraging patterns and diet of South Island saddlebacks on Motuara Island differed from all potential competitors. I conclude that the success of the South Island saddleback transfer to Motuara Island should not be threatened by a lack of food or foraging opportunities.