Foraging behavior of Swainson’s Thrushes on spring migration was studied in western Arkansas in the spring of 2013 and 2014. Observations were made in two forested field sites, one of them urban and the other suburban. The former had a significantly higher woody stem area (cm2) than the latter. For each foraging observation, the following three parameters were noted: Foraging Stratum (Ground, Shrub, Sapling, Sub canopy, and Canopy); Foraging Substrate (Ground/Litter, Herb, Foliage, Bark, and Air); and Foraging Maneuver (Glean, Probe, Dive/Glean, Hover, Jump Hover, and Hawking). We tested the hypotheses that these foraging variables differed significantly between the urban and suburban sites, and between the two years. These hypotheses were rejected for all three parameters. The consolidated data from both the sites and years revealed that a significantly higher proportion (67%) of the observations were on the Ground stratum, compared to the Shrub (13.7%) and Sapling strata (13%). Similarly, a significantly higher proportion (66%) of the foraging substrate used was Ground/Litter, followed by Foliage (16.7%) and Bark (15.8%). Gleaning was the most common foraging maneuver used (71.5%), and was significantly higher than Probing (12.3%) and Dive Gleaning (8.4%).
Wiley, S.; Kannan, R.; James, D. A.; and Deshwal, A.
"Foraging Behavior of Swainson's Thrushes (Catharus ustulatus) During Spring Migration through Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 69
, Article 23.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol69/iss1/23