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(2002)What eats parrots? What are the major
A. Helbig, Annett Kocum, I. Seibold, M. Braun (2005)A multi-gene phylogeny of aquiline eagles (Aves: Accipitriformes) reveals extensive paraphyly at the genus level.
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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(1), 27-31 ARTICLE March 2014 Possible scavenging behavior in Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) in Amazonas, Brazil 1,2 1 Samuel Edmond Idris Jones and Leejiah Jonathon Dorward Department of Life Sciences (Division of Ecology and Evolution), Imperial College London, Silwood Park, Buckhurst Road, Ascot, SL5 7PY, United Kingdom Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org (Phone: +44 (0)7795 624669) ABSTRACT: We provide documentation of the ﬁrst observations of interactions with carrion in the Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), a species formerly assumed only to prey on live food items. During ﬁeldwork in RESEX Médio-Juruá reserve, in Amazonas, Brazil, in June-August 2009, images were captured by remote camera traps of an Ornate Hawk-Eagle interacting with a cattle femur, indicating possible scavenging behavior. Additionally, apparent investigatory behavior was also recorded in Slate-colored Hawk (Buteogallus schistaceus), a previously unrecorded behavior for the species. We suggest that additional work with camera traps monitoring carrion may reveal opportunistic scavenging to be more widespread in tropical forest raptors than has generally been assumed. KEYWORDS: Buteogallus schistaceus; foraging ecology; raptors; scavenging behavior; Spizaetus. INTRODUCTION the Spizaetus guild is made up of four species; Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus), Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus melanoleucus), Ornate Hawk- Many tropical raptors, particularly forest dwellers, Eagle, and Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori). are secretive and diﬃcult to study. Remote localities, low The recorded diets of these species are varied, but their population densities, inconspicuous behaviors, complex documented hunting strategies are similar and all of a (and often dense) vegetation, and high diversity have led sub-canopy nature (Robinson 1994; Ferguson-Lees to a generally slow accumulation of basic natural history & Christie 2001), although Black-and-white Hawk- knowledge of many species (Robinson 1994; Bildstein et eagle has also been recorded to hunt by diving from al. 1998). Raptors are highly susceptible to forest loss, a great height into the canopy (Brightsmith 2002). perturbation, and fragmentation: disturbed habitats retain only impoverished raptor communities dominated by open habitat or generalist species (Turley et al. 1992). Feeding Ecology and Diet of Ornate Hawk-Eagle The Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) is and Similar Species widespread throughout much of the lowland Neotropics, generally occurring below 1,800 m asl. It is resident Robinson (1994), groups Ornate Hawk-Eagle in a from northern Mexico to southern Brazil (throughout guild of seven similar species in Amazonian forest that the Amazon Basin), northern Argentina, and Paraguay utilize similar hunting strategies, ambushing large birds (Howell & Webb 1995; Iliﬀ 2010). BirdLife International and mammals from concealed/sub-canopy perches or (2012) classiﬁes the species as ‘Near-threatened’ on the long-range (> 50m) attacks on congregations of birds and IUCN Red List, its primary threat being future habitat mammals. The other six species are: Collared Forest-Falcon loss (Bird et al. 2012), although arbitrary persecution has (Micrastur semitorquatus), Bicolored Hawk (Accipiter also been recorded (Trinca et al. 2008). bicolor), Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, Black Hawk- Hawk-eagles, formerly all subsumed under Eagle, Crested Eagle (Morphnus guianensis), and Harpy Spizaetus (Aves: Accipitriformes) are now widely Eagle (Harpia harpyja). Documented feeding ecology of separated into Spizaetus (New World) and Nisaetus (Old Ornate Hawk-Eagles is typical of this grouping; pouncing World; Helbig et al. 2005; Haring et al. 2007). Despite on prey or giving a short chase (Ferguson-Lees & Christie these recent taxonomic developments, these species 2001) and high speed dives, for example on herons and occupy similar ecological niches and this is reﬂected rallids, troops of monkeys, and a Guianan Cock-of-the- in their known feeding behaviors. In the Neotropics rock (Rupicola rupicola) lek (Trail 1987; Hilty 2003). Possible scavenging behavior in Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) in Amazonas, Brazil Samuel Edmond Idris Jones and Leejiah Jonathon Dorward Recorded diet of Ornate Hawk-Eagle is widely varied METHODS in terms of species. Flatten et al. (1990) found, of 52 prey items at a nest studied in Guatemala, 40.4% were avian, The femurs (Figure 1) were placed in the forest 46.1% were mammalian, and 13.5% unidentiﬁable. Klein on 27 July 2009 as part of a larger study investigating et al. (1988) studied a nest in Manaus, Brazil, and found, nutrient cycling. Over a two month period we spread of 49 prey items; 63.5% were avian, 32.7% mammalian, 186 femurs 150 m apart along six transects tied to trees and 4.1% reptiles. Supporting Robinson (1994), avian with wire. Reconyx HP45 camera traps (Reconyx, LLP, prey was of relatively large size such as cracids, macaw 3600 Hwy 157, Suite 205, La Crosse, Wisconsin) were sp. (Ara sp.), and tinamous; mammals recorded included used to monitor 10 femurs for the ﬁrst ﬁve weeks of a porcupine sp. (Coendu sp.), opossums, and Common their placement to record vertebrate scavengers. Despite Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus). Other recorded prey continuous deployment, problems with batteries meant items or attacks have been similar, such as Robinson camera traps were not monitoring continuously for the (1994)—small primates, cracids, gallinules, macaw ﬁve week period and a total of 217 camera-trap days sp. (Ara sp.), and Pale-winged Trumpeter (Psophia were recorded (of a potential 350). Camera traps were leucoptera); Lyon & Kuhnigk (1985)—tinamous, cracids, placed 30 cm oﬀ the ground ~4 m away from the femur, and Gray-headed Dove (Leptotila plumbeiceps); Russell set to their default trail setting; to take three photos at (1964)—Great Curassow (Crax rubra); Kilham (1978)— 1-s intervals for every detected motion. We monitored Crested Guan (Penelope purpurascens); Friedmann and femurs near animal trails or in areas expected to achieve Smith (1955)—guan sp. (Penelope sp.), and Acosta- higher capture rates and cameras were placed at least 1 Chaves et al. (2012) of a Long-tailed Silky-ﬂycatcher km apart to ensure a degree of independence. Areas being (Ptilogonys caudatus). A number of other prey types have heavily used by local people for hunting and other forest also been detected, such as Green Iguana (Iguana iguana; activities were excluded from the camera trapping eﬀort. Clinton-Eitniear et al. 1991), a large colubrid-type snake (Robinson 1994), and unidentiﬁed snake and lizard sp. RESULTS (Klein et al. 1988). It would appear from this diversity of recorded prey items that this species is opportunistic and On 28 July 2009 a Reconyx HP45 camera trap generalist in its foraging niche. captured 12 photos, from 1302-1304 h, of an adult Scavenging behavior or feeding on carrion appears Ornate Hawk-Eagle interacting with a cattle femur to be very rare in this guild of species, although there are (Figure 2) at GPS coordinates 5.36692,S, 67.28954 some records of species feeding on stored prey that are W in the RESEX Médio-Juruá reserve, in Amazonas, likely to be at least partially decomposed. A Harpy Eagle, Brazil. The femur had been placed in the forest the for example, was recorded feeding on a Brown-throated day before, on 27 July. While no actual feeding was Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus) over a period of recorded, the individual approached and interacted three days at the same site, which probably represented with the femur, placing its talons on the femur on two the ﬁrst report of a non-scavenging raptor repeatedly occasions. Figure 1 shows how little ﬂesh there was on feeding for more than two days on prey (Springer et al. the bone, which may explain the absence of feeding. 2011). However, it is likely that the Harpy Eagle recorded At 1136 h on 13 August 2009, three photos (Figure 3) was released as part of a rehabilitation program, which were captured by a Reconyx HP45 camera trap of a single poses the question whether this behavior is natural or a Slate-colored Hawk brieﬂy investigating a femur site at product of exposure to carcasses throughout the program. GPS coordinates 5.37409 S, 67.28370 W. The femur had Such behavior also seems to be rare or unrecorded in been placed in the forest 17 days previously, on 27 July. similar species worldwide, although (African) Crowned Eagles (Stephanoaetus coronatus) reportedly rarely feed on carrion (although no speciﬁc example is given) and, after a kill, have been recorded to cache and re-visit food for several days (Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001). Herein, we report photographic evidence of investigation and interactions with carrion indicating possible scavenging behaviors of an Ornate Hawk-Eagle on cattle femurs monitored by remote camera trapping in primary lowland Amazonian rainforest in Amazonas, Brazil. Further, we also documented investigatory behavior by a single Slate-colored Hawk (Buteogallus schistaceus), a FIGURE 1. Cattle femur (photographed one day prior to the Ornate previously unrecorded behavior for the species. Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) interaction). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(1), 2014 Possible scavenging behavior in Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) in Amazonas, Brazil Samuel Edmond Idris Jones and Leejiah Jonathon Dorward FIGURE 2. Camera-trap images showing Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) interactions with cattle femur. DISCUSSION Across the 10 camera trap sites a total of 217 camera trap days over a ﬁve-week period recorded one Ornate Hawk-Eagle interacting with a femur (Figure 2) and one Slate-colored Hawk investigating a femur site (Figure 3). Given the lack of previous records of this behavior, it would appear that this is unlikely to be a common feeding strategy. It is important to note, however, that the bones are unlikely to have attracted scavengers for the entire duration of trapping eﬀort as they become less attractive to scavengers as they decay (Houston 1986). While some resident raptors such as Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) rely on olfactory senses to locate carrion (Houston 1986; McShea et al. 2000), no vultures were FIGURE 3. One of three camera-trap images showing Slate-colored recorded at any of the femur sites. This would suggest hawk (Buteogallus schistaceus) investigating cattle femur site. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(1), 2014 Possible scavenging behavior in Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) in Amazonas, Brazil Samuel Edmond Idris Jones and Leejiah Jonathon Dorward that the Ornate Hawk-Eagle and Slate-colored Hawk REFERENCES located the femurs by sight, as they were not producing Acosta-Chaves, V.; Granados-Rodriguez, F.; & Araya-Huertas, strong enough olfactory clues to be discovered by other D. 2012. Predation of Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher (Ptilogonys avian species which were present in the area and known caudatus) by Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) in a cloud to have highly acute olfactory senses. Indeed, the lack of forest of Costa Rica. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 20: vultures at these bones may have provided an opportunity 451-452. for otherwise non-scavenging raptors to exploit carrion in Bildstein, K. L.; Schelsky, W.; & Zalles, J. 1998. Conservation status of tropical raptors. Journal of Raptor Research, 32: 3-18. the absence of specialist scavengers. BirdLife International. 2012. Spizaetus ornatus. In: IUCN Red List Although no feeding behavior was recorded, we of Threatened Species, v. 2012.2. www.iucnredlist.org. (access on believe the interactions with carrion by Ornate Hawk- 1 December 2012). Eagle to be the ﬁrst records of possible scavenging Bird, J. P.; Buchanan, G. M.; Lees, A. C.; Clay, R. P.; Develey, P. F.; Yépez, I.; & Butchart, S. H. M. 2012. Integrating spatially behavior in the species. In the instance of the Slate- explicit habitat projections into extinction risk assessments: a colored Hawk, where no direct contact was recorded, reassessment of Amazonian avifauna incorporating projected we believe this also to be the ﬁrst recorded instance of deforestation. Diversity and Distributions, 18: 273-281. such behavior, although it is unsafe to draw any further Brightsmith, D. 2002. What eats parrots? What are the major predators of parrots in the wild? Bird Talk, August 2002. conclusions. Clinton-Eitniear, J.; Gartside, M. R.; & Kainer, M. A. 1991. As has been elucidated from the recorded diets of Ornate Hawk-Eagle feeding on Green Iguana. Journal of Raptor Ornate Hawk-Eagle, the species is a generalist feeder and Research, 25: 19-20. we believe opportunistic scavenging may occur more Ferguson-Lees, J. & Christie. D. A. 2001. Raptors of the world. than is currently documented. Detailed documentation Houghton Miﬄin Company, New York, New York. Flatten, C. J.; Madrid M., J. A.; Madrid, M. H. D.; Funes, A. S. of prey data recorded for many forest raptor species H.; Hernandez, C. A. E.; & Botzoc, G. R. 1990. Biology of the are based primarily on prolonged nest observations, in Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), p. 129-144 In: Burnham, which all recorded prey is assumed to be a ‘kill’. Given W.A.; Whitacre, D.R.; and Jenny, J.P. (eds.). Maya Project Progress the similarities in known feeding ecology of sub-canopy Report III. Boise: The Peregrine Fund, Inc. Friedmann, H., & Smith, F. D. 1955. A further contribution to the raptor guilds, it is valid to suggest that scavenging ornithology of northeastern Venezuela. Proceedings of the United behavior may occur in a number of species that have, to States National Museum 104: 463-524. date, not been recorded to do so. Whether such behavior Haring, E.; Kvaloy, K.; Gjershaug, J. O.; & Gamauf. A. 2007. is opportunistic, driven by stress or resource shortages or Convergent evolution and paraphyly of the hawk-eagles of the as a result of previous anthropogenic interactions with genus Spizaetus (Aves, Accipitridae)—phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial markers. Journal of Zoological Systematics and the individual or its environment, however, is open to Evolutionary Research, 45: 353-365. conjecture. Helbig, A. J.; Kocum, A.; Seibold, A.; & Braun, M. J. 2005. A multi- As shown in previous studies and illustrated by gene phylogeny of aquiline eagles (Aves: Accipitriformes) reveals Springer et al. (2011), the diﬃculties of studying and extensive paraphyly at the genus level. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 35: 147-164. documenting such behaviors are clear and further Hilty, S. 2003. Birds of Venezuela, second edition. Princeton University research eﬀort should be focused by monitoring of Press, Princeton, New Jersey. carrion by remote camera trapping. The inﬂuence of Houston, D.C. 1986. Scavenging eﬃciency of turkey vultures in inputting extra (possibly unnatural) carrion into a forest tropical forest. Condor, 88: 318-323. system must be considered, however, and we recommend Howell, S.N.G. & Webb. S. 1995. Birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford: Oxford University Press. opportunistic or low-intensity monitoring of carcasses to Iliﬀ, M. 2010. Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), Neotropical better understand their role as a possible food resource for Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of non-olfactory species. Ornithology. http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/ overview?p_p_spp=129556 (access on 1 December 2012). Kilham, L. 1978. Alarm calls of Crested Guan when attacked by ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Ornate Hawk-Eagle. Condor, 80: 347-348. Klein, B. C.; Harper, L. H.; Bierregaard, R. O.; & Powell. G. V. N. 1988. The nesting and feeding behavior of the Ornate Hawk- We thank Joe Tobias, Daniel López-Velasco, and eagle near Maunaus, Brazil. Condor, 90: 239-241. Fabiola Rodriguez for discussion, conﬁrmation, and Lyon, B. & Kuhnigk, A. 1985. Observations on nesting Ornate second opinions on the identiﬁcation of Slate-colored Hawk-Eagles in Guatemala. Wilson Bulletin, 97: 141-147. McShea, W. J.; Reese, E. G.; Small, T. W.; & Weldon, P. J. 2000. Hawk; Alex Lees for his helpful comments on a ﬁrst An experiment on the ability of free-ranging Turkey Vultures draft of this note; and two anonymous reviewers for (Cathartes aura) to locate carrion by chemical cues. Chemoecology, improving the manuscript. Finally, we are grateful to 10: 49-50. Carlos Perez for his logistical support and funding during Robinson, S. K. 1994. Habitat selection and foraging ecology of the ﬁeldwork period. raptors in Amazonian Peru. Biotropica, 26: 443-458. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(1), 2014 Possible scavenging behavior in Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) in Amazonas, Brazil Samuel Edmond Idris Jones and Leejiah Jonathon Dorward Russell, S. M. 1964. A distributional study of the birds of British Trinca, C. T.; Ferrari, S. F.; & Lees, A. C. 2008. Curiosity killed Honduras. Ornithological Monographs, No. 1, The American the bird: arbitrary hunting of Harpy Eagles Harpia harpyja on Ornithologists’ Union. an agricultural frontier in southern Brazilian Amazonia. Cotinga, Springer, M. T.; Nielsen, C. K.; Carver; A. D.; & Correa, N. J. 30: 12-15. 2011. Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja) feeding behavior on a Brown- Turley, C.; Hernandez, A. E.; & Osorio, F. 1992. A comparison of throated Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus). Journal of Raptor raptor communities of primary tropical forest and the slash-and- Research, 45: 101-103. burn/cattle ranching agricultural mosaic—analysis of 1989 data, Trail, P. W. 1987. Predation and antipredator behavior at Guianan p. 81-92 In: Whitacre, D. F. and Thorstrom, R. K. (eds.). Maya Cock-of-the-rock leks. Auk, 104: 496-507. Project Progress Report V. Boise: The Peregrine Fund. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia, 22(1), 2014
Ornithology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2014
Keywords: Buteogallus schistaceus; foraging ecology; raptors; scavenging behavior; Spizaetus
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