Sensitivity of Nesting Great Egrets (Ardea alba) and White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) to Reduced Prey Availability

  title={Sensitivity of Nesting Great Egrets (Ardea alba) and White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) to Reduced Prey Availability},
  author={Garth Herring and Dale E. Gawlik and Mark I. Cook and James M. Beerens},
ABSTRACT. Life-history theory suggests that long-lived bird species will adjust their nesting effort according to current conditions to balance the costs and benefits of current reproduction with their long-term needs for survival and future reproduction. However, responses to the same habitat conditions may differ between species, even within the same ecosystem, to produce different nesting and population patterns. We examined differences in the nesting ecology of two sympatric wading… 

Importance of Crayfish Prey to Nesting White Ibis (Eudocimus albus)

The results from this study and an earlier study suggest fish, along with terrestrial insects and urban refuse are only secondary prey for nesting White Ibis and that wetlands with abundant crayfish populations should promote high nesting effort.

Aquatic prey switching and urban foraging by the White Ibis Eudocimus albus are determined by wetland hydrological conditions

The results support the suggestion of depth-dependent diets; prey composition depends on the current landscape water levels around the colonies, and also suggests that previous drying events can lead to increased reliance on alternative food sources.

Differential physiological responses to prey availability by the great egret and white Ibis

The results of this study show a more complete pathway by which hydrologic patterns affect wading birds, and it suggests that ibis are more sensitive to habitat conditions than are egrets.


The results suggest that the life cycle of the prey is the main causal factor that influences the feeding ecology of the Black-faced Ibis in pastures of southern Chile.

Effects of research disturbance on nest survival in a mixed colony of waterbirds

The protocol and statistical analysis presented here are robust and can be applied to any bird species to test for the effect of a research disturbance or other short and repeated temporal events that may affect reproductive success over one or more breeding seasons.

Brood Size and Nesting Phenology in Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark's Grebe (Aechmophorus clarkii) in Northern California

Brood size decreased linearly as nest initiation date increased, showing no differences in the rate of decline among age classes of young, and older broods were found to be significantly smaller than younger broods, suggesting that mortality was occurring after hatching thereby reducing the potential number of chicks recruited into the adult population.

Effects of nest characteristics and black rat Rattus rattus predation on daily survival rates of great egret Ardea alba nests in mangrove forest in the Hara Biosphere Reserve, the Persian Gulf

It is concluded that black rat predation is the most important factor affecting the breeding performance of great egrets in the Hara Biosphere Reserve, and control measures should be undertaken to reduce the negative effects of this invasive rodent on the heron colonies of mangrove forests in the Persian Gulf.

Foraging Success and Habitat Selection of the Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) at Poyang Lake, China

Abstract.— Poyang Lake is China's largest freshwater lake in summer and provides important habitat for an internationally significant assemblage of waterbirds in winter. Human-caused alterations to

Physiological Condition of Juvenile Wading Birds in Relation to Multiple Landscape Stressors in the Florida Everglades: Effects of Hydrology, Prey Availability, and Mercury Bioaccumulation

The results indicate that the physiological condition of egret and ibis chicks were influenced by several environmental stressors, and the time frame of the effect may depend on the specialized foraging behavior of the adults provisioning the chicks.

Temporal Variation in Local Wetland Hydrology Influences Postdispersal Survival of Juvenile Wood Storks (Mycteria americana)

ABSTRACT. Since the 1960s, anthropogenic shifts in the timing and distribution of surface-water flows in the Everglades have pushed back the onset of reproduction in Wood Storks (Mycteria



Distribution of Wading Birds Relative to Vegetation and Water Depths in the Northern Everglades of Florida, USA

Abstract The response of Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias), Great Egrets (Casmerodius albus), Wood Storks (Mycteria americana), and White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) to water level (index of depth) and

Relationships between food resources, foraging patterns and reproductive success in the water pipit, Anthus sp. spinoletta

It is found that food conditions translate into fitness: the number of fledglings per nest is related positively to the average prey biomass at the foraging place and negatively to theaverage distance between the foraged place and the nest.

Importance of landscape heterogeneity to wood storks in Florida Everglades

Simulation results showed a threshold response in reproductive success to reduction of wetland heterogeneity, indicating hypothesis 2 may be a more likely explanation than hypothesis 1 for declines in populations of and reproductive success of wood storks in the Florida Everglades.

Geographic Patterns in Reproductive Parameters Among Nearctic Herons (Ardeidae)

The results suggest that herons may pay higher reproductive costs to obtain similar benefits when breeding at higher latitudes, and factors other than those proposed in the case of landbirds may explain the latitudinal variation in clutch size in herons.

A Study of Fasting in Tree Sparrows (Spizella arborea) and Dark-Eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis): Ecological Implications

Comparisons of Dark-eyed Juncos and Tree Sparrows revealed a species-specific difference in tendency toward fat accumulation that cannot be attributed to differences in energy expenditure while fasting, at least in the laboratory, other explanations are considered.


  • T. Hahn
  • Environmental Science, Biology
  • 1998
Activation of the reproductive system in summer and termination of breeding during molt in autumn appear to be regular seasonal phenomena in Red Crossbills, as in other temperate zone birds, whose opportunistic capabilities are superimposed on this underlying pattern.


The feeding strategy of the first group appeared to be one of searching for new high-quality food patches rather than staying and exploiting food patches that were declining in quality, suggesting that factors affecting bird density at feeding sites may also have affected population size.

Proximate determination of clutch size in lesser black-backed gulls : the roles of food supply and body condition

A series of supplementary feeding experiments on lesser black-backed gulls is used in conjunction with a new technique to measure pectoral muscle protein levels in live birds to investigate the relationships between food supply, body condition, and clutch size.