By M. Morrison
Reviews in Avian Biology is a sequence of works too lengthy for The Condor, released at abnormal durations via the Cooper Ornithological Society.
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Extra resources for Avian Foraging Theory Methodlogy and Applications (Studies in avian biology)
1984). Marston et al. (1982) found sweep netting to collect some groups of insects more efficiently than others, so resulting ratio estimators varied in precision. They also provide some sample size guidelines for sweep netting in ratio estimation schemes. Sweep netting does not provide a measure of absolute density and it is biased in several ways. It collects only arthropods located in the upper portions of plants. The method is ineffective in tree foliage or extremely short vegetation. The taller a plant is, the smaller the proportion of the plant that is adequately sampled, so arthropods differing in their vertical distributions cannot be compared using sweep netting.
At least one possibility deserves consideration. Why not use patterns of bird behavior to confirm that our measures of food availability are appropriate? In fact, because conditions good for one individual may be poor for another, we cannot afford to measure food availability independently from bird behavior. Even the same food abundance can change in “availability,” for example, as the thermal load of a bird changes (Clark 1987). If variation in some behavioral act were necessarily correlated with food availability, we might be able to use that behavior to “check” the validity of a food availability measurement made for some other purpose.
Given the extremely low sampling intensity (5 days/year), results should be viewed with caution. Blake and Hoppes (1986) used them to determine prey abundance in treefall gaps, and Hutto (1980, 198 la, 1985b) used them in several habitats. These authors recognized that their sampling schemes did not sample the same arthropods that foliage-gleaning insectivores capture, but assumed that the numbers of insects captured in the traps were correlated with actual prey availability. Given that sticky traps do not capture larval Lepidoptera, an important prey source for birds in many areas, that assumption is questionable.
Avian Foraging Theory Methodlogy and Applications (Studies in avian biology) by M. Morrison