Abstract

The feeding ecology of Turdus pelios was studied from field observations and gizzard contents. Quantitative data on feeding were obtained from repeated standard “fixed route” walks and observational points at seven sites from January to December 1998 on 5065ha at the Obafemi Awolowo University campus, Ile-Ife (7º20’ N, 4º33’ E). Walks (each lasting about two hours) were started at various times of the day between 7.00 and 16.45 h. A total of 100 walks were made and binoculars were used to observe all feeding activities during 10 minutes at each site. Each feeding record included food type, method of feeding and reaction with con-specifics at feeding sites. Gizzards from mist-netted specimens were also studied. These birds fed most commonly twice a day between 06.00-9.30hr in the morning and between 17.00-18.30hr in the evening. Field observations showed that about 62% of the diet consisted of plant matter. The prey items were earthworms and terrestrial arthropods, of which orthopterans alone constituted 45% of the total. The prey size consumed by both sexes overlapped extensively: differences in prey size were significant only for spiders
Keywords: turdus pelios, feeding ecology, prey item, prey size, bill length, gizzard, plant matter, Nigeria