WINTER DIET OF SOUTHERN BOOBOOKS Ninox novaeseelandiae IN CANBERRA 1997–2005
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|| A. B. Rose, Jerry Olsen, S. J. S. Debus, Susan Trost
There are few studies of Southern Boobook Ninox novaeseelandiae diet and only two major studies of winter (nonbreeding) diet. In this analysis of winter diet in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia, prey remains and pellets were gathered from five adult males and five adult females wintering in nature parks and Canberra suburbs during 1997–2005. The study generated 496 prey items: 167 mammals, 33 birds, 0 reptiles, and 296 invertebrates. The analysis adds one new prey species to the known diet: Red-rumped Parrot Psephotus haematonotus. We compared our results to those from two other major studies of non-breeding diet from other areas, and one study of breeding diet from the same area. The diet in this study was similar to that found in a Victorian study also based on pellets, with the highest percentage of the biomass coming from vertebrates, but differed from a South Australian study based on gizzard contents, and from reviews of the literature that described Southern Boobooks as mainly insectivorous. These differences in results may relate to different methods of collection and analysis, and the misconception that Southern Boobooks are small owls.
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