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Diet of the critically endangered Seychelles Scops Owl, Otus insularis

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The only data previously recorded on the diet of the critically endangered, endemic Seychelles Scops Owl, Otus insularis, is from the stomach contents of a few museum specimens and analysis of one pellet. Data are presented on more than 400 prey items identified from pellets and video recordings of provisioning at two nests. Pellets comprised exclusively of invertebrate remains: Orthoptera (64%), Coleoptera (14%), arachnids (11%) and other invertebrates (11%). Similarly, 111 (76%) of all items identified during 145 provisioning visits at two nests were invertebrates. Seventy-three (66%) were identified to morphospecies and comprised Orthoptera (93%), arachnids (4%) and Lepidoptera (3%). The diet of scops owls inhabiting areas of different altitudes (180-700m asl) was similar. Identification of prey taxa and species suggests that a significant amount of foraging takes place from foliage and on tree trunks, not just on the ground.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2003

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