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1 December 2001 Feeding Activity and Seasonal Changes in Prey Composition of urban Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus
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Despite the increasing populations of Peregrine Falcons in European cities, detailed quantitative studies of their diet composition and feeding activity in urban environments are rare. The results from observations in Warsaw have added to the knowledge of the feeding ecology of urban raptors. In 2000 and 2001 the same pair of Peregrines bred successfully in nest boxes situated on two different buildings in the city centre, rearing three and four chicks in the respective years. During the breeding seasons from hatching to fledging, the nests were monitored with a video camera. Only diurnal observations were used in the detailed analysis of feeding activity — 428 h in 2000 (33 days) and 384 h (24 days) in 2001. Two peaks of parental activity were noted: in the morning and in the afternoon. Additional data collected in 2000 showed that the falcons also fed their young at night. In 1998–2001 486 prey remains were collected on the buildings occupied by the Peregrines. In Warsaw these falcons preyed most often on Feral Pigeons (32%), and also on various thrush species (23.5%), Skylarks (8%) and Corncrakes (5.6%). Seasonal variations in prey composition were identified. During the spring and autumn migrations, the proportion of pigeons in the falcons' diet was 10–19%, while in summer and winter it was over 40%. The trend was reversed with regard to migrant species, which were prevalent in the diet in spring and autumn, but less numerous in summer and winter.



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Łukasz Rejt "Feeding Activity and Seasonal Changes in Prey Composition of urban Peregrine Falcons Falco peregrinus," Acta Ornithologica 36(2), 165-169, (1 December 2001).
Received: 1 October 2001; Accepted: 1 November 2001; Published: 1 December 2001

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