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El hornero

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DE TOMMASO, Daniela C.; CALLICO FORTUNATO, Roberta G.; TETA, Pablo  and  PEREIRA, Javier A.. Diet of the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) in two areas with different land use in south-central La Pampa Province, Argentina. Hornero [online]. 2009, vol.24, n.2, pp.87-93. ISSN 0073-3407.

We studied the diet of the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) in two areas with different land use in the central sector of the Monte de Llanuras y Mesetas Ecoregion, La Pampa Province, Argentina: a protected area (Lihué Calel National Park) and an intensively grazed cattle ranch (La Manuela). We identified 1251 prey items, mainly corresponding to Coleoptera, Scorpiones and Rodentia. In both areas the Burrowing Owl was a generalist feeder. The frequency of the different prey items in the diet varied significantly between areas, both during the reproductive and the non-reproductive seasons. However, the mean weight of ingested small mammals and the standardized trophic niche breadth were similar between areas and to those reported for this species in other sectors of the Monte de Llanuras y Mesetas Ecoregion. According to the ingested biomass, the Burrowing Owl behaved as a carnivorous predator during the reproductive season and as carnivorous-insectivorous during the non-reproductive one.

Keywords : Food habits; Monte de Llanuras y Mesetas; Small mammals; Strigidae; Strigiformes.

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