Seasonal, habitat, and sex-specific food habits of red-winged blackbirds: implications for agriculture.

D. K. McNicol, R. J. Robertson, P. J. Weatherhead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In eastern Ontario, the overall diet of Agelaius phoeniceus is nonspecialized, but within seasons, habitats or sexes, specializations do occur. In early spring, males eat waste grain and seeds, with birds in agricultural habitats specializing more on the former, and in nonagricultural habitats on the latter. In the breeding season, both sexes in both habitats switch to insects, although waste grain remains an important component of the diet of birds in agricultural areas. Following breeding, birds move into agricultural areas and exploit both standing oats and corn, and then waste grains again late in the fall. Some of the insects and weed seeds in the birds' diet are potentially damaging to agriculture, so consumption by birds may have direct benefits to agriculture.-from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3282-3289
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian journal of zoology
Volume60
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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