Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.29(1). (2021) p.108-119.

Diet of Long-eared Owl and Common Kestrel in an urban landscape (Ukraine)
Ivan Zahorodnyi, Oleksii Dubovyk, Ivan Komarnytskyi & Ihor Dykyy

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In the present study we performed a comparative dietary analysis of two predatory birds, the Long-eared Owl (Asio otus) and the Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) in the district of Lviv city. We found that the Long-eared Owl and the Common Kestrel are typical small mammal specialists within the urban ecosystem. Considering the abundance and biomass of prey, small mammals comprise 98.4% of the Long-eared Owl’s diet. The species composition of mammals coincides almost 50% in the food intake comparison of the two birds. It has been established that the main prey of both species is the Common Vole (Microtus arvalis). The diet of the Common Kestrel is more varied, compared to the Long-eared Owl, due to the consumption of different species of insects (families Gryllotalpidae, Tettigoniidae, Carabidae and Scarabaeidae), reptiles and birds. This result suggested that dietary plasticity of the Common Kestrel facilitate successful adaptation to the urban landscape. The Long-eared Owl is more narrowly specialized in feeding on murine rodents, which reduces the trophic competition between the two predatory birds and allows the coexistence of two predators in the urban ecosystem.