- Lehrstuhl für Biologie V (Ökologie), RWTH Aachen, Kopernikusstr. 16, D-5100, Aachen, Germany
During the breeding season Goldfinches (Carduelis carduelis L.) feed on milky ripe seeds of about 20 food plants. Individual Goldfinches joining a flock reduce the time spent vigilant with increasing flock size. Therefore birds feeding in flocks get an increased intake of kernels per time unit. This was measured for five different food plants (Dactylis glomerata (Gramineae), Knautia arvensis (Dipsacaceae), Senecio vulgaris, Taraxacum officinale, Tragopogon pratensis (Compositae)). In large-sized flocks, birds fed up to 2.3 times more kernels, than when feeding solitarily. In addition, visibility in the vegetation leads to a further increase of kernel intake. Thus feeding under good conditions as in recently mown areas, can raise kernel intake to the seven fold per time unit as compared to solitary feeding. The maximum ingestion rate of kernels was 98 per min which implies a head up-and-down movement every 0.6 s. The calculated energy intake of birds per time unit is lowest in Senecio and highest in Tragopogon. Thus the birds, when feeding on Tragopogon in larger flocks, can gain an energy intake 16 times higher than that reached when feeding on Senecio, despite of a higher kernel intake rate. The energy intake individual Goldfinches gain at the particular plant species is markedly increased with flock sizes up to eight birds, with larger flocks the intake increases only slightly.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
- 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
- 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics