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Opportunistic predation on bats by the tawny owl Strix aluco

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image of Animal Biology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Netherlands Journal of Zoology (Vol 18-52).

The presence of bats in the diet of tawny owls inhabiting the entrance parts of a large bat hibernation site in central Poland was compared in two periods. In the years 1985–1988 the median total number of hibernating bats per survey (522) was nearly 3 times lower than in the years 2002–2008 (1455). Along this trend the share of bats in tawny owls' diet increased respectively from 21.9% of vertebrate prey items to 36.5%. In areas without large bat concentrations they usually comprise up to 1% of vertebrate prey. This finding could be an evidence of an opportunistic feature of bat predation by owls.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Functional Food and Commodity, Warsaw University of Life Sciences – SGGW, Nowoursynowska 159 C, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland; 2: The Polish Society for Bat Protection, Baczyńskiego 6/13, 98-220 Zduńska Wola, Poland; 3: The Polish Society for Bat Protection, Spacerowa 38, 98-240 Szadek, Poland

10.1163/157075609X454917
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/content/journals/10.1163/157075609x454917
2009-09-01
2016-12-10

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