Earthworms in the diet of Herring Gulls Larus argentatus breeding on an off-shore island

Pennycott, T. W., Grant, D. and Nager, R. G. (2020) Earthworms in the diet of Herring Gulls Larus argentatus breeding on an off-shore island. Bird Study, 67(1), pp. 131-134. (doi: 10.1080/00063657.2020.1743232)

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Abstract

Pellets of indigestible material regurgitated by Herring Gulls Larus argentatus breeding on Lady Isle, Firth of Clyde, Scotland, were collected in 2018 and 2019 and examined for earthworm chaetae. Nearly two-thirds (65.6%) of the 314 pellets came from gulls that had consumed one or more earthworms. Significantly fewer pellets (57.6%) contained chaetae in 2018, a relatively dry May to July, than in 2019 (72.0%) when rainfall was close to the long-term average for May to July. There were significant associations between the presence of large quantities of terrestrial vegetation in the pellet and the detection of large numbers of earthworm chaetae and/or fragments of terrestrial arthropods, suggesting that recent consumption of these food items is likely when pellets contain large quantities of vegetation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Nager, Dr Ruedi
Authors: Pennycott, T. W., Grant, D., and Nager, R. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Bird Study
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0006-3657
ISSN (Online):1944-6705
Published Online:06 April 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in Bird Study 67(1):131-134
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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