Knowledge of the feeding habits of a bird species is necessary to evaluate how food availability can affect its population status. The Woodpigeon Columba palumbus is a granivorousfrugivorous species that is widely distributed throughout Europe. However, there is little information about its feeding habits both in Spain and Mediterranean region. The diet of Woodpigeons in a mountain area of southern Spain was quantitatively assessed on a monthly basis during 2011 and 2012. The birds were sampled on their way to roost sites after they had finished feeding and the contents of their crops were subsequently analysed. Twenty plant species and five snail species were identified in the diet. The consumed items varied significantly between seasons. Thus, acorns of Quercus sp. were the most consumed item during winter, cereals dominated the summer diet and tree fruits predominated in spring and autumn. The Woodpigeons showed a preference for cereals and acorns rather than tree fruits and pasture vegetation. Woodpigeons showed considerable plasticity in their feeding habits, since they were able to change the main food item consumed over a short period of time and fed on most of the typical Mediterranean tree fruits.
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Vol. 64 • No. 1