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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(3), 288-291 SHORTCOMMUNICATION September 2014 Feeding of nestlings of the Amazonian Motmot (Momotus momota) in southern Goiás, Brazil 1,4 2 2 3 Marcos Antônio Pesquero , André Grassi Corrêa , Marcos Filipe Pesquero and Henrique Marques de Paula Universidade Estadual de Goiás - UEG, Rua 14, 625 - Jardim América, CEP 75650-000, Morrinhos, GO, Brazil. Universidade Federal do Tocantins. Ecologia de Ecótonos. Instituto Federal Goiano - Campus Rio Verde. Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org Received on 18 April 2013. Accepted on 12 April 2014. ABSTRACT: In this study, the provisioning of nestlings by a monogamous pair of Momotus momota, living in the urban area of Morrinhos, Goiás, Brazil, was studied. The male and female fed the nestlings throughout the day, but with greater intensity during sunrise. One of them devoted twice as much eﬀort than his mate to this activity. Food items oﬀered to the nestlings were usually insects, small vertebrates, fruits, and other invertebrates. KEY-WORDS: Parental care, daily activity, nestlings, diet, urban environment. Reproductive eﬀort is deﬁned as part of the energy spent of the Cerrado biome (Martins et al. 2009). The local during a period of time in the life of an organism that is climate is characterized by a cool period from May to devoted to reproduction (Hirshﬁeld & Tinklee 1975). In August (20.85 ± 1.10°C, mean ± SD), and a hot period birds, this energy can be allocated to sex-speciﬁc activities from September to April (24.33 ± 0.81°C). Rainfall is such as egg-laying in females, mating rituals in males, high from November to March (241.07 ± 32.50 mm), low and activities that can be shared by both sexes, such as from May to August (9.57 ± 1.44 mm), and intermediate nest building, incubation, and feeding and defending in April, September and October (77.34 ± 13.46 mm) young. The degree of parental investment in performing (Pesquero et al. 2012). these tasks depends on the mating system, with greater We estimated the dedication of a M. momota pair dedication expected of males in parental care in social during the feeding of three nestlings for six alternate days and/or genetic monogamous reproductive systems of between October 19 and November 8, 2008, from 6:15 tropical birds (Stutchbury & Morton 2001). Momotidae am to 7:15 pm (DST), totaling 84 h of observation. The comprises a monophyletic group of six genera and ten birds dug a 2.46 m long nest on the bank of a cistern species of Neotropical birds recognized by simple song, in the backyard of a residence. The number of nestlings bright plumage, lack of sexual dimorphism (Snow 2001), and the length of the nest were measured using a 3 m and monogamy (Murphy et al. 2010). These birds dig probe attached to a netbook (Figure 1). Observations tunnels through earth banks to incubate between two to began after the incubation period, when parents entered six white eggs (Snow 2001), feeding mainly on insects, the nest only to deliver food to the nestlings. Binoculars small vertebrates and fruits (Orejuela 1980, Remsen et (7 × 25 mm) were used to recognize parents and food al. 1993). Momotus momota is a large motmot with a types when parents perched on a wall before entering the wide distribution in South America, inhabiting forests nest at a maximum distance of 5 m from the observer. near watercourses for nesting (Melo & Piratelli 1999). Timepoints in which parents entered the nest to feed the Few studies have been conducted on reproduction and nestlings were recorded for parental dedication analysis. provisioning of nestling motmots in Brazil (Alves et al. Several times a day, parents entered the nest to feed 1999, Piratelli et al. 2000). the nestlings, preferably during the ﬁrst three hours after This study was conducted in an urban area of sunrise, corresponding to a 4.14 ± 0.71 / hour (mean ± Morrinhos (17°73'42''S, 49°09'94''W), southern Goiás, SE) encounter rate of food compared with 3.02 ± 0.23 Brazil. More than half of the municipal area was occupied / h during other periods of the day (t = 1.95, df = 69, P by pastures, leaving only 17% native vegetation, mainly = 0.054) (Figure 2). The reason for the non-signiﬁcant Feeding of nestlings of the Amazonian Motmot (Momotus momota) in southern Goiás, Brazil Marcos Antônio Pesquero, André Grassi Corrêa, Marcos Filipe Pesquero and Henrique Marques de Paula outcome should be the delayed onset of observations The occurrence of M. momota is expected for the (6:15 am) in relation to sunrise (5:44 am to 5:34 am), central region of Brazil, but the pair observed during this underestimating foraging activity in the early morning. study had distinctive speciﬁc stains (Stiles 2009), such as Although sexes were not recognized, parents were a greenish breast, ocher abdomen, violet posterior region morphologically distinguished from each other by the of the crown, and the absence of an ocher stain close to presence or absence of a spot on the chest. The spotted the neck. Interestingly, there are no records regarding bird fed the nestlings twice as much as the mate (Figure 2). adult motmots without a pectoral spot, or records on the It was present for 67 of the 84 h of observation, compared relationship of this trait with sexual dimorphism. to 46 h of the mate’s activity ( = 11.92, P < 0.001); entered the nest to feed the nestlings 150 times, while his mate entered only 80 times ( = 21.30, P < 0.00001); and its rate of food delivery per hour was twice as much as the mate’s (2.10 ± 0.17 and 1.01 ± 0.15, respectively. t = -4.78, df = 140, P < 0.00001). The nestlings’ diet was mainly composed of insects, including slugs, snails, worms, millipedes, woodlice, spiders, dragonﬂies, cockroaches, grasshoppers, mantes, frogs, lizards, and small fruits (Figure 3A). The most common insects were Lepidoptera (40% young and 60% adults), Coleoptera, and Orthoptera (Figure 3B). The dedication of parents to feeding activity decreased as the lifetime of nestlings progressed (Figure 4), but this relationship was not signiﬁcant (r = -0.77, t = -2.42, P = 0.07). On November 9 and 10, 2008 three nestlings left the nest. They had a single pectoral spot, 24.6 ± 0.6 cm mean length, and 95.37 ± 6.59 g mean FIGURE 1. Probe attached to a netbook used to visualize the Momotus weight (mean ± SE). momota nestlings. FIGURE 2. Average number of feeding visits to the nest carried out by a pair of Momotus momota throughout the day. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(3), 2014 Feeding of nestlings of the Amazonian Motmot (Momotus momota) in southern Goiás, Brazil Marcos Antônio Pesquero, André Grassi Corrêa, Marcos Filipe Pesquero and Henrique Marques de Paula FIGURE 3. Kinds of food brought into the nest by the couple of Momotus momota. A) All foods. B) Insects. FIGURE 4. Average number of feeding visits to the nest carried out by a pair of Momotus momota throughout the days. The breeding observed here occurred in the nestlings during the six days of observation in an urban rainy season, similar to other studies on motmot birds area. However, the rate of food delivery to nestlings (Skutch 1971, Alves et al. 1999, Piratelli et al. 2000). In was not constant over time. This can indicate paternal seasonal climates, the rainy season favors the growth and encouragement for nestlings to leave the nest. reproduction of arthropods, which is very common in The prevalence of adult activity during the ﬁrst hours the diet of motmots (Alves et al. 1999, Melo & Piratelli of the day was described for M. momota and Eumomota 1999). The nestlings’ diet was composed predominantly superciliosa (Sandbach 1837) (Orejuela 1980, Melo & of insects, small vertebrates and fruits, similar to the Piratelli 1999), and the authors attribute them to satiety omnivorous diet of adult birds (Orejuela 1980, Remsem and physiological limitation. Both sexes fed the nestlings et al. 1993, Piratelli & Pereira 2002). Unlike forest as expected for monogamous birds of tropical climate environments where the insects most commonly oﬀered (Stutchbury & Morton 2001), yet one individual devoted to the nestlings of Electron platyrhynchum (Skutch 1971) more time than the mate to this activity. Although Skutch are cicadas, Lepidoptera was the most oﬀered insect to (1947) did not recognize the sex of the parents, he reported Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(3), 2014 Feeding of nestlings of the Amazonian Motmot (Momotus momota) in southern Goiás, Brazil Marcos Antônio Pesquero, André Grassi Corrêa, Marcos Filipe Pesquero and Henrique Marques de Paula Murphy, T.G.; Rohwer, V.G. & Scholes, E. 2010. Breeding biology that E. superciliosa presented unequal division of labor in and longevity of Russet-crowned Motmots in central Mexico. digging nest tunnels. Males and females of Baryphtengus Journal of Field Ornithology, 81: 13-16. ruﬁcapillus (Vieillot 1818) have also presented unequal Orejuela, J.E. 1977. Comparative biology of Turquoise-browed and dedication during the provisioning of nestlings (Alves Blue-crowned Motmots in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The et al. 1999); and observations of the species made by Living Bird, 16: 193-208. Orejuela, J.E. 1980. Niche relationships between Turquoise-browed Orejuela (1977) suggest that motmot females are more and Blue-crowned momots in the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. The devoted to parental care. Wilson Bulletin, 92: 229-244. Pesquero, M.A.; Teixeira Filho, J.C. & Junqueira, D.I. 2012. Desaﬁos da sociedade na produção de alimento, p. 85-102. In: Silva, M.V. & Pesquero, M.A. (eds.). Caminhos interdisciplinares ACKNOWLEDGMENTS pelo ambiente, história e ensino: o sul goiano no contexto. Uberlândia: Editora Assis. Fernanda Santos Tomazella and Mercia A. O. Pesquero Piratelli, A.J. & Pereira, M.R. 2002. Dieta de aves da região leste de assisted during ﬁeld collections. Suzana Macedo Oliveira Mato Grosso do Sul, Brasil. Ararajuba, 10: 131-139. and two anonymous reviewers of the manuscript provided Piratelli, A.J.; Siqueira, M.A.C. & Marcondes-Machado, L.O. 2000. Reprodução e muda de penas em aves de sub-bosque na a number of helpful suggestions. região leste de Mato Grosso do Sul. 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Ornithology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2014
Keywords: Parental care; daily activity; nestlings; diet; urban environment
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