Diet of some spring migrant landbirds on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica

Main Article Content

Jared D. Wolfe

Abstract Spring dietary patterns of migrants in tropical latitudes are largely unknown. Here I present diet data derived from an analysis of fecal samples for six migrant landbird species during spring migration along the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. High levels of insectivory were detected for all six species captured. The nature of the data presented is discussed in light of El Niño conditions which immediately preceded the field component of this study. Ultimately, detailed knowledge pertaining to the resources utilized by migrant landbirds will improve our ability to manage Caribbean stopover sites. 


Keywords: diet, Caribbean coast, Costa Rica, landbirds, Nearctic-Neotropic migrants, spring migration


Resumen: Dieta de algunas aves terrestres migrantes de primavera en la costa Caribeña de Costa Rica- Los patrones dietarios en primavera de los migrantes en latitudes tropicales son casi desconocidos. Se presentan datos sobre la dieta a partir de un análisis de las muestras fecales de seis especies de aves terrestres migratorias durante la migración de primavera a lo largo de la costa caribeña de Costa Rica. Altos niveles de insectivoría fueron detectados en las seis especies capturadas. La naturaleza de los datos presentados se expone a la luz del fenómeno El Niño que precedió inmediatamente al trabajo de campo de este estudio. En última instancia, un conocimiento detallado de los recursos utilizados por las aves terrestres migratorias mejorará la capacidad para manejar los sitios de parada en el Caribe. 


Palabras clave: aves terrestres, costa del Caribe, Costa Rica, dieta, migrantes Neártico-Neotropicales, migración de primavera


Résumé: Régime alimentaire de certains oiseaux terrestres migrateurs de printemps sur la côte Caribéenne du Costa Rica- Le régime alimentaire des migrateurs séjournant sous les tropiques au printemps est en grande partie inconnu. Je présente ici des données sur l’alimentation provenant d’une analyse d’échantillons fécaux de six espèces d’oiseaux terrestres en migration printanière le long de la côte caraïbe du Costa Rica. Les six espèces capturées avaient un régime largement insectivore. La nature des données est discutée à la lumière d’un événement El Niño qui a précédé les relevés de terrain. Finalement, la connaissance approfondie des ressources utilisées par les oiseaux terrestres migrateurs permettra d’améliorer notre capacité à gérer les sites migratoires cari- béens. 


Mots clés: Costa Rica, côte caribéenne, migrateurs néarctiques-néotropicaux, migration de printemps, oiseaux terrestres, régime alimentaire

Abstract 505 | PDF Downloads 476

References

BLAKE, J. G., AND B. A. LOISELLE. 1992. Fruits in
the diets of Neotropical migrant birds in Costa
Rica. Biotropica 24:200-210.

FRANCIS, C. M., AND F. COOKE. 1986. Differential
timing of spring migration in wood warblers. Auk
103:548-556.

FUENTES, M. 1994. Diets of fruit-eating birds: what
are the causes of interspecific differences? Oecologia
97:134-142.

HAGAN, J. M., T. L. LLOYD-EVANS, AND J. L. ATWOOD.
1991. The relationship between latitude
and the timing of spring migration of North
American landbirds. Ornis Scandinavica 22:129-
136.

HILTY, S. L. 1980. Relative abundance of north
temperate zone breeding migrants in western Colombia
and their impact at fruiting trees. Pp. 265-
271 in Migrant birds in the Neotropics: ecology,
behavior, distribution and conservation (A. Keast
and E. S. Morton, eds.). Smithsonian Institution
Press, Washington, DC.

HOLDRIDGE, L. R. 1987. Ecología basada en zonas
de vida. 3ra reimpresión. Editorial del Instituto
Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura,
San José, Costa Rica.

JANZEN, D. H. 1973. Sweep samples of tropical
foliage Insects: effects of seasons, vegetation
types, elevation, time of day, and insularity. Ecology
54:687-708.

JANZEN, D. H. 1983. Costa Rican natural history.
University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

LEVEY, D. J., AND G. F. STILES. 1992. Evolutionary
precursors of long-distance migration: resource
availability and movement patterns in Neotropical
landbirds. American Naturalist 140:447-476.

MOORE, F. R., P. KERLINGER, AND T. R. SIMONS.
1990. Stopover on a Gulf coast barrier island by
spring trans-Gulf migrants. Wilson Bulletin 102:
487-500.

MOORE, F. R., AND W. YONG. 1991. Evidence of
food based competition among passerine migrants
during stopover. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
28:85-90.

PARRISH, J. D. 2000. Behavioral, energetic, and
conservation implications of foraging plasticity
during migration. Studies in Avian Biology
20:53-70.

POULIN, B., AND G. LEFEBVRE. 1996. Dietary relationships
of migrant and resident birds from a humid
forest in central Panama. Auk 113:277-287.

PYLE, P. 1997. Identification guide to North American
birds. Pt. 1. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, CA.

RALPH, C. P., S. E. NAGATA, AND C. J. RALPH.
1985. Analysis of droppings to describe diets of
small birds. Journal of Field Ornithology 56:168-
174.

RALPH, C. J., M. J. WIDDOWSON, R. I. FREY, P. A.
HERRERA, AND B. P. O’DONNELL. 2005. An
overview of a landbird monitoring program at
Tortuguero, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.
U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
General Technical Report PSW-GTR-191.

RAPPOLE, J. H., E. S. MORTON, T. E. LOVEJOY III,
AND J. L. RUOS. 1993. Aves migratorias en los
Neotropicos. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington,
DC.

RICH, T. D., C. J. BEARDMORE, H. BERLANGA, P. J.
BLANCHER, M. S. W. BRADSTREET, G. S. BUTCHER,
D. W. DEMAREST, E. H. DUNN, W. C.
HUNTER, E. E. INGIO-ELIA, J. A. KENNEDY, A.
M. MARTELL, A. O. PANJABI, D. N. PASHLEY, K.
V. ROSENBURG, C. M. RUSTAY, J. S. WENDT,
AND T. C. WILL. 2004. Partners in Flight North
American landbird conservation plan. Cornell
Laboratory of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY.

RIDGELY, R. S., AND G. TUDOR. 1989. The birds of
South America. Vol. 1. The oscine passerines.
University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.

ROPELEWSKI, C. F., AND M. S. HALPERT. 1987.
Global and regional scale precipitation patterns
associate with the El Niño / Southern Oscillation.
Monthly Weather Review 115:1606-1626.

ROULSTON, T. H., AND J. H. CANE. 2000. Pollen
nutrition content and digestibility for animals.
Plant Systematics and Evolution 222:187-209.

SHERRY, T. W. 1984. Comparative dietary ecology
of sympatric, insectivorous Neotropical flycatchers
(Tyrannidae). Ecological Monographs 54:313-
338.

SILLETTT, S. T., R. T. HOLMES, AND T. W. SHERRY.
2000. Impacts of a global climate cycle on population
dynamics of a migratory songbird. Science
288:2040-2042.

WILLIAMSON, G. B., AND K. ICKES. 2002. Mast
fruiting and ENSO cycles–does the cue betray a
cause? Oikos 97:459-461.

WINKER, K. 1995. Autumn stopover on the isthmus
of Tehuantepec by woodland Nearctic-Neotropic
migrants. Auk 112:690-700.

WINKER, K., D. W. WARNER, AND A. R.,
WEISBROD. 1992. Daily mass gains among woodland
migrants at an inland stopover site. Auk 109:
853-862.

WOLFE, J. D., AND C. J. RALPH. 2009. Correlations
between the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and
changes in Nearctic-Neotropic migrant condition
in Central America. Auk in press.

WRIGHT, S. J., C. CARRASCO, O. CALDERON, AND
S. PATON. 1999. The El Niño Southern Oscillation,
variable fruit production, and famine in a
tropical forest. Ecology 80:1632-1647.