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Foraging Efficiencies and Techniques of Juvenile and Adult Northern Mockingbirds (Mimus Polyglottos)

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Adult and newly independent juvenile northern mockingbirds foraged on arthropods in the breeding season at similar rates within bouts, but adult efficiency (both as captures/attempt and captures/min) was higher than juvenile efficiency. Adults also captured a greater proportion of large arthropods than juveniles, and adults preferentially fed larger prey to dependent young. Juveniles engaged in more aerial attacks as the season progressed, although their success rate in these bouts did not increase. Both adults and juveniles captured a greater proportion of large arthropods in aerial attacks than in ground attacks. Juvenile success rate in ground attacks increased with season. These observations suggest that juvenile mockingbirds change their foraging behaviour in the first 1-2 months of independence, although the mechanism involved in this change is unknown.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, 33124, U.S.A.

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