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New article! What do Pallid Swifts eat?

On the beginning of December an article was published that helps us to understand the diet of the Pallid Swifts (Apus pallidus) during the breeding season, based on the work that is being conducted in Vila Nova de Famalicão and with the support of the andorin project.

Through the analysis of the faeces of swifts captured during bird ringing sessions, it was possible to identify exactly what these birds have been feeding on, but also to answer other questions such as: does their diet vary throughout the breeding season? And do males eat the same as females?

The results show that:

1️⃣ When the availability of their potentially preferred prey (ant queens and males) was high, they hardly fed on anything else! However, when their preferred prey was probably no longer available, they appeared to have started feeding on other invertebrates, resulting in a more varied diet.

2️⃣ Although no differences were found between the diets of the two sexes with respect to composition, males feed on larger prey!

As they are birds that spend almost all their lives in flight, travel great distances and have a very restricted distribution, not much is known about the diet of swifts. The results of this study, apart from opening a window on the super-secret life of swifts, show once again the importance of the services that these birds provide us: the control of agricultural and forestry pests!

You can read the article here!


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