Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Food Searching Behaviour of Two European Thrushes

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Behaviour

1. The movement path of a predator will clearly be an important determinant of its ability to encounter and subsequently attack suitable prey items. Previous work on this aspect of searching behaviour has been mainly carried out on invertebrates, while this study describes the movement paths of two bird predators, the european blackbird and the song thrush (collectively referred to as 'thrushes') on a grass meadow in central Oxford. 2. The paths of foraging thrushes are divided up into natural units consisting of a series of alternating moves and pauses. A method of mapping these moves is presented (Figs 2, 3). 3. The large scale movements of the thrushes on the meadow was not uniform and this was probably related to non-uniformity in the environment, possibly including factors influencing feeding success (Figs 4, 6). 4. The durations of the moves and pauses were measured from cine film and video tape records. Only between one sixth and one tenth of the total foraging time was spent in actual movement, the remainder probably being spent largely in scanning for, or attacking, potential prey objects (Figs 7, 8). 5. Measures of the individual move lengths and angles. turned between successive moves were taken from the maps (Figs 3, 9), and the average speeds of movement were calculated for each track. Song thrushes and female blackbirds made longer moves than male blackbirds, and female blackbirds moved across the meadow at a higher overall speed than male blackbirds or song thrushes (Tables 1-4). 6. Methods are presented for describing the 'rules of movement' of the thrushes across the study meadow. When feeding mainly on earthworms, thrushes tended to make sequences of three, or possibly more, moves that were similar in length, and to make pairs, triplets, and possibly bigger groupings of alternating left and right turns. The size of each move was independent of the sign of the preceding turn and vice versa. The tendency of successive turns to alternate in sign, combined with the relatively restricted size of turns between moves, produced an ongoing search path, thus avoiding the pitfall of searching the same ground twice in a short time.

Affiliations: 1: (Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, England


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Behaviour — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation