Purple Heron diet in northern Spain. Differences between feeding areas and between sampling methods

Campos F., Lekuona J. M., Rios M., Miranda R.

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Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) diet was analysed by observing foraging adults in rivers and ricefields in northern Spain and by taking food samples from nests (pellets, food remains and spontaneous regurgitates). Diet composition varied between feeding areas (fish were the most abundant prey in rivers and crayfish Procambarus clarkii in ricefields) and sampling methods (direct observations underestimated the importance of insects and overestimated crustaceans and amphibians). The Purple Herons in the study area seemed to have adapted their diet to a new trophic resource (the crayfish) recently introduced in the study area.