THE DIET OF UPLAND SANDPIPERS (BARTRAMIA LONGICAUDA) IN MANAGED FARMLAND IN THEIR NEOTROPICAL NON-BREEDING GROUNDS

Matilde Alfaro, Brett K. Sandercock, Luciano Liguori, Matias Arim

Abstract


The Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) is a migratory shorebird that inhabits grasslands at the breeding and non-breeding grounds. The trophic ecology of the species is poorly known, but it is thought to be insectivorous. In this study, we describe the diet of the Upland Sandpiper and its temporal variation in grasslands of northern Uruguay. From 2008 to 2012, we collected 67 feces at nine different sites in the Departments of Salto and Paysandú. The diet consisted mainly of insects (present in 98% of the feces) belonging to three orders: Coleoptera (in 80% of feces), Orthoptera (79%), and Hymenoptera (48%). Consumption of Orthoptera and Hymenoptera varied among years. Plant remains and stones were also recorded in feces. Vegetation may have been consumed secondarily while stones could be used in food processing in the gizzard. Our study demonstrates that Upland Sandpipers are diet generalists and probably forage opportunistically, depending on resource availability and focusing on the most abundant prey items.


Keywords


Bartramia longicauda; diet; fecal analysis; food preference; grasslands; insects; Nearctic migrant; Scolopacidae; Upland Sandpiper; Uruguay; wintering grounds

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