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Feeding activity of cattle egrets and intermediate egrets at different stages of rice culture in Korea

Author(s): Yu-Seong Choi | Sun-Sook Kim | Jeong-Chil Yoo

Journal: Journal of Ecology and Field Biology
ISSN 1975-020X

Volume: 33;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 149;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: cattle egrets | feeding activity | intermediate egrets | rice fields | stage of rice culture

This study was conducted to investigate the feeding efficiency of the cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and the intermediateegret (Ardea intermedia) in relation to the stage of rice culture during two breeding seasons, 2006 and 2007, in Asan city,Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. Cattle egrets caught mainly small invertebrate prey (insects and spiders, 98.4%)during all stages of rice cultivation, and had a higher prey capture rate in the plowing stage (14.98 prey/min) than inother stages (2.82-3.51 prey/min). Therefore, the biomass intake rate of cattle egrets was highest in the plowing stage.The intermediate egret captured both loaches (43.4%) and small invertebrates (50.6%). The prey capture rates of intermediateegrets increased gradually from the flooding stage (0.38 prey/min) to the planting stage (1.09 prey/min), anddecreased in the growing stage (1.04 prey/min). However, intermediate egrets had the highest biomass intake rates in theplowing stage because more loaches were caught in the plowing stage (0.54 loaches/min) than other stages (0.23-0.36loaches/min). Consequently, both intermediate egrets and cattle egrets had high energy intakes in the plowing stage andrice fields provided an important feeding habitat for both species.
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