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1 March 2017 Bats as Predominant Food Items of Nesting Barred Owls
Bradley J. Bergstrom, Marvin T. Smith
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Between April and June 2016, we observed a pair of Strix varia (Barred Owl) rearing 2 chicks in a wooded, streamside city park in Valdosta, GA, and we observed 1 instance of an adult feeding a bat to a fledgling. Thirteen of 20 owl pellets collected from the area contained 37 Myotis austroriparius (Southeastern Myotis). This species of bat was the most frequent and abundant food item during the chick-rearing period, especially before fledging and for at least 17 days after. Birds partially replaced bats in the diet during the middle of this period. Owls commonly ate crayfish and June bugs and less commonly ate fish and a variety of small vertebrates throughout the period. To our knowledge, this is the first report of bats comprising a major dietary item for Barred Owls, including food given to the chicks.

Bradley J. Bergstrom and Marvin T. Smith "Bats as Predominant Food Items of Nesting Barred Owls," Southeastern Naturalist 16(1), (1 March 2017).
Published: 1 March 2017
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