Skip to Main Content
Analysis of droppings to describe diets of small birdsAuthor(s): Carol Pearson Ralph; Stephanie E. Nagata; C. John Ralph
Source: J. Field Ornithol. 56(2): 165-174
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
PDF: View PDF (615 KB)
DescriptionStomach contents have been the major source of dietary information for small birds and other vertebrates. However, killing specimens to look at stomach contents is not an option in studies of endangered species and often is undesirable in other studies. Emetics, causing regurgitation of stomach contents, can be used successfully with small birds, but can stress and even kill them (Prys-Jones et al. 1974, Radke and Frydendall 1974). Collecting or photographing food brought to nestlings may be possible, but only for a limited season and necessarily few individuals. Droppings are produced by all birds all year and can be collected with little stress on the bird, often with little extra effort by the researcher. Large samples are thus possible. We describe here an efficient method for individually examining large numbers of droppings of small birds for a quantitative description of arthropods and fruit seeds in their diets.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationRalph, Carol Pearson; Nagata, Stephanie E.; Ralph, C. John. 1985. Analysis of droppings to describe diets of small birds. J. Field Ornithol. 56(2): 165-174
- Rating effectiveness of herbicides in desiccating woody vegetation
- A summary and comparison of bird mortality from anthropogenic causes with an emphasis on collisions
- New crayfish species records from the Sipsey Fork drainage, including Lewis Smith Reservoir (Alabama, USA): Native or introduced species?
XML: View XML