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1 June 2015 Food habits and resource partitioning in a guild of Neotropical swifts
Charles T. Collins
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Abstract

The Coastal Cordillera of Venezuela has a rich avifauna including swifts. The aerial arthropod prey of three species found there, Gray-rumped Swift (Chaetura cinereiventris), Vaux’s Swift (Chaetura vauxi), and White-tipped Swift (Aeronautes montivagus), included spiders plus nine orders and 110 families of insects. Diptera and Hymenoptera were the most numerous prey taxa (>60%) taken by all three swifts. Prey size ranged from 0.5–17.9 mm body length, and averaged 2.69 mm for Gray-rumped Swifts, 2.91 mm for Vaux’s Swifts, and 5.52 mm for White-tipped Swifts. Niche breadth was similar in Gray-rumped and Vaux’s Swifts (2.4 and 3.13), and niche overlap was also high (0.98). Niche breadth was higher in White-tipped Swifts (8.49) and niche overlap was <60 with both Gray-rumped and Vaux’s swifts. Observed elevational differences in foraging habitat and altitudinal foraging zones are proposed as resource partitioning mechanisms for this guild of sympatric aerial insectivores.

© 2015 The Wilson Ornithological Society
Charles T. Collins "Food habits and resource partitioning in a guild of Neotropical swifts," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 127(2), 239-248, (1 June 2015). https://doi.org/10.1676/wils-127-02-239-248.1
Received: 23 May 2014; Accepted: 1 December 2014; Published: 1 June 2015
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