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1 December 2000 Diet and Foraging Behavior of Nesting Roadside Hawks in Petén, Guatemala
Theresa Panasci, David Whitacre
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In 1993 and 1994, we collected data on the diet and foraging behavior of Roadside Hawks (Buteo magnirostris) in primary tropical forest with slash-and-burn farming landscape nearby. We identified 140 prey items brought to nests: 90 in the farming landscape and 50 in the forest. Reptiles (57.1%, mostly lizards) and amphibians (24.3%) were the main prey types delivered to nestlings in both habitats, but size and type of prey differed between nests in the two habitats. Relatively more amphibians and reptiles were delivered to slash-and-burn nests and more mammals and insects to forest nests. In 40 of 44 prey capture attempts, Roadside Hawks utilized the typical Buteo technique, searching for prey from a perch and attacking once prey was sighted. In addition, two aerial attacks were directed at a flying and at a perched bird, and hawks walking on the ground twice captured beetles. Of 44 capture attempts, 84% were successful. In the forest, half of 32 attacks were launched from perches protruding above vegetation along a road or in clearings; the other half were launched from perches beneath the forest canopy. These hawks often took advantage of special hunting opportunities: attending army-ant swarms, taking many frogs immediately after rain showers, and catching prey fleeing from fires.

Theresa Panasci and David Whitacre "Diet and Foraging Behavior of Nesting Roadside Hawks in Petén, Guatemala," The Wilson Bulletin 112(4), 555-558, (1 December 2000).[0555:DAFBON]2.0.CO;2
Received: 14 February 2000; Accepted: 1 June 2000; Published: 1 December 2000
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