We present the first detailed study of the diet of Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) in Europe, from an expanding breeding colony in Doñana, southwest Spain. In 2000, fecal samples, mainly from adults, were collected from 15 nests. In 2001, 36 regurgitates were collected, mainly from large chicks. Fecal contents were dominated by aquatic beetles (Coleoptera) and dragonfly (Odonata) larvae, which were present in 100% and 93% of samples respectively. Regurgitates contained mainly aquatic beetles (41% by aggregate percent, mainly Cybister spp.), dragonfly larvae (29%, mainly Sympetrum fonscolombei, Aeshna mixta and Anax imperator), Sharp-ribbed Salamanders (Pleurodeles waltl, 12%) and Carp (Cyprinus carpio, 7%). The absence of vertebrate and other hard remains from feces was presumably due to their excretion in pellets. Thus fecal analysis is not a suitable method to investigate the food of the Glossy Ibis. The results suggest that there may be no major difference in the diet of breeding adults and their chicks, and that the recent increase in numbers of this ibis in Doñana is not explained by the abundance of introduced Red-swamp Crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) in the breeding area.
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Vol. 27 • No. 2