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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(1): 67–70. SHORT-COMMUNICA ARTICLE TION March 2017 Peaceless doves: predators of two columbid species at an urban park in southeastern Brazil 1,3 2 Ivan Sazima & Juliana Vaz Hipolito Museu de Zoologia, Caixa Postal 6109, Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP, CEP 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil. Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Animal, Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP, CEP 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil. Corresponding author: email@example.com Received on 18 October 2016. Accepted on 23 April 2017. ABSTRACT: Doves are preyed on by a variety of vertebrate predators including mammals, birds, and snakes. In urban areas the predator diversity is restricted to a few species, and hawks are the commonest dove predators there. Herein we report events of predation on the Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata) and the Picazuro Pigeon (Patagioenas picazuro) by two accipitrid raptors, the Roadside Hawk (Rupornis magnirostris) and the Plumbeous Kite (Ictinia plumbea), a falconid, the Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis), besides a dipsadid snake, the Eastern Green Whiptail (Philodryas olfersii), at an urban park. The doves were hunted mostly during their fledgling stages. The P lumbeous Kite hunted Eared Doves only during its breeding season to feed the offspring, whereas the Roadside Hawk preyed both on Eared Doves and the Picazuro Pigeon also during its non-breeding period. The Aplomado Falcon preyed on an adult Picazuro Pigeon, whereas the Eastern Whip Snake preyed on a nestling Eared Dove. The Roadside Hawk was the main predator of the Eared Dove in the studied park, and probably would prove to be an important predator of this and additional dove species at other urban areas. KEY-WORDS: Accipitridae, anthropogenic area, Dipsadidae, raptors, snake. Neotropical pigeons and doves (Columbidae) dwell in conspicuous and common ones (Develey & Endrigo diverse habitat types, but most species are found in open 2004, Corbo et al. 2013). Herein we report events of areas where they feed mainly on seeds (Baptista et al. 1997, predation on the Eared Dove and the Picazuro Pigeon Sick 1997, Dardanelli et al. 2011). Some dove species by two accipitrid raptors, the Roadside Hawk (Rupornis breed year-round and colonise anthropogenic habitats magnirostris) and the Plumbeous Kite (Ictinia plumbea), (Baptista et al. 1997, Sick 1997, Develey & Endrigo besides a falconid, the Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis) 2004, Corbo et al. 2013). Columbids fall prey to a diverse and a dipsadid snake, the Eastern Green Whiptail array of vertebrate predators including mammals, birds, (Philodryas olfersii) at an urban park in southeastern Brazil. and snakes (Silva & Faggioni 2015, Sarasola et al. 2016). We observed predation on doves at the Parque Among raptors, a few hawk and kite species prey on Ecológico Prof. Hermógenes de Freitas Leitão Filho doves, although birds are not their staple food (Thiollay (22°48'42"S; 47°04'26"W, 587 m a.s.l) in Campinas, 1994, Seavy et al. 1997, Sick 1997). Several Neotropical São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil. This recreational dove species dwell in urban areas, particularly in so called park is bordered by residential quarters and buildings of green areas, which harbour a few accipitrid and falconid a local university (see map in D'Angelo et al. 2016). The raptor species as well (Thiollay 1994, Baptista et al. 1997, park has a total area of 0.13 km , of which about 75% is Sick 1997, Dardanelli et al. 2011, Corbo et al. 2013). In occupied by a large pond surrounded by native and exotic urban areas the predator diversity is restricted to a few vegetation composed of trees, bushes and grass patches. species, and hawks are the commonest dove predators The pond is bor dered by a sandy path about 1.5 km long, there (Thiollay 1994, Sick 1997). Besides raptors, in used by people for walking, running, and promenading. anthropogenic areas doves may fall prey to a few snake Playgrounds, kiosks, benches and tables, as well as species that dwell there as well (Sazima & Marques 2007, wastebaskets along the path accentuate the recreational Barbo et al. 2011). nature of the study site. Among the dove species that fare well in urbanised Since observations of predation events on a particular areas in Brazil, the Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata) and prey type usually are fortuitous and circumstantial (Sazima the Picazuro Pigeon (Patagioenas picazuro) are the most 2008, 2015a), our records were opportunistic and spanned Peaceless doves: predators of two columbid species at an urban park in southeastern Brazil Sazima & Hipolito six years, from 2010 to 2016, at different periods of the and swallow small pieces from there. Our observation day and the year. We observed the predation events with ended when a passerby caused the hawk to fly out of our bare eye, 10 × 15 binoculars, and through a 70–300 mm visual reach. telephoto lens mounted on a SLR camera from a distance At late afternoon of 14 July 2014, we observed a of 2 to 30 m. Throughout the observational sessions, we juvenile Roadside Hawk descending upon a juvenile used the “ad libitum” and “sequence” samplings (Altmann Picazuro Pigeon that was foraging on the ground in the 1974), which are adequate to record fortuitous or rare open. The hawk pulled t he dove against the ground with events. Voucher digital photographs of the predators both feet, then grabbed it by the neck and carried the and/or their prey are on file at the Museu de Zoologia da prey in the right talons with visible effort and perched Universidade Estadual de Campinas (ZUEC). on a branch nearby. There, the hawk began to rip and We recorded a total of 12 predation events involving swallow pieces of the prey's upper back. A passerby two dove species, the Eared Dove and the Picazuro disturbed the hawk, which fled with t he already dead Pigeon, preyed on by three raptor species, the Roadside prey to the understory. On the way it released the prey, Hawk, the Plumbeous Kite, and the Aplomado Falcon, which landed on the ground, the wounded back clearly besides a snake, the Eastern Green Whiptail. The doves visible (Fig. 1B). The hawk perched on a tree near the were preyed on mostly during their fledgling stages fallen dove, and after about 15 min it landed and carried (Table 1).The P lumbeous Kite was observed to hunt the prey out of sight. Eared Doves only during its reproductive season and At midday of 10 October 2012, we observed a fed this prey type to the offspring, whereas the Roadside Plumbeous Kite flying low an d striking in midair at the Hawk was observed to prey both on Eared Doves and back of a clumsily flying Eared Dove fle dgling that left a the Picazuro Pigeon during its reproductive and non- branch and was set to alight on another branch nearby. reproductive periods. The Aplomado Falcon preyed on The kite carried t he prey to a pole, where it plucked an adult Picazuro Pigeon, and the Eastern Whip Snake several feathers but did not rip or ate portions of the prey. preyed on a nestling Eared Dove. Instead, the prey was carried to a nest nearby, where the Most of the recorded predatory events consisted of kite (now clearly a male) delivered the dove to a female raptors carrying their prey in talons and flying among that was tending her single nestling. The female held the the vegetation or in the open. On a few occasions we dove with right talons (Fig. 1C), tore small pieces of the spotted the raptors perched on a branch and plucking prey and delivered them to the nestling. feathers from, or tearing pieces of, the prey, only to fly At late morning of 27 December 2015 we observed upon the approximation of a passerby. However, some an Eastern Green Whiptail foraging among branches of the observed events allowed a description of an almost (Fig. 1D) of a treelet that harboured an Eared Dove nest. complete predation sequence. For instance, at midday of The brooding adult flew off at the approximation of 04 May 2014, we observed an adult Roadside Hawk that the snake. The now unattended nest contained a single, grasped an Eared Dove nestling by the back from within recently-hatched nestling, which the snake grabbed by the an unattended nest, and carried the prey to a branch neck and began to swallow headfirst. Soon after, the snake nearby. The sti ll alive dove was held in right talons by its was mobbed by a pair of Pale-breasted Thrushes (Tur dus wing (Fig. 1A) and soon after alighting the hawk began leucomelas) and a Streaked Flycatcher (Myiodynastes to pluck the body feathers from the prey. The raptor maculatus), which caused the predator to quickly retreat pecked at the back of the prey first, and began to tear to a dense shrubbery, the nestling still in its mouth. Table 1. Predators of two columbid species at an urban park in Campinas, São Paulo state, southeastern Brazil, over six years. Predator Prey Life stage Date Roadside Hawk (adults) Eared Dove Fledgling 04 December 2010 Eared Dove Fledgling 09 January 2011 Eared Dove Fledgling 19 January 2013 Eared Dove Nestling 04 May 2014 Eared Dove Adult 20 August 2015 Juvenile Picazuro Pigeon Juvenile 14 July 2014 Adult Picazuro Pigeon Fledgling 12 June 2015 Plumbeous Kite (adults) Eared Dove Fledgling 10 October 2010 Eared Dove Fledgling 11 October 2015 Eared Dove Fledgling 25 October 2015 Aplomado Falcon (juvenile) Picazuro Pigeon Adult 21 December 2016 Eastern Green Whiptail Eared Dove Nestling 27 December 2015 Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(1): 2017 Peaceless doves: predators of two columbid species at an urban park in southeastern Brazil Sazima & Hipolito Figure 1. Columbid predators at an urban park in southeastern Brazil. With an Eared Dove (Zenaida auriculata) nestling still alive in talons, a watchful Roadside Hawk (Rupornis magnirostris) adult perches on a branch (A); a Picazuro Pigeon (Patagioenas picazuro) juvenile killed and temporarily left on the ground by a Roadside Hawk juvenile (B); a Plumbeous Kite (Ictinia plumbea) female feeds her young pieces she rips from an Eared Dove fledgling (C); its head visible among leaves, an Eastern Green Whiptail (Phi lodryas olfersii) searches for nests among branches (D). At mid-afternoon of 21 December 2016, we only. Preying on Eared Dove fle dglings and nestlings was recorded a juvenile Aplomado Falcon feeding on an observed at other sites near the park, and perhaps this adult Picazuro Pigeon at the park. The falcon was on feeding habit is more widespread than our results may the ground with its wings spread over the prey, and tore indicate. A juvenile hawk was observed taking a nestling pieces of the pigeon's chest. The prey's head and part of dove from within a nest in a backyard (G.B. D'Angelo, the chest and belly were already consumed, revealing pers. comm.), and an adult was observed with a juvenile seeds eaten by the dove. A passerby disturbed the falcon, dove in talons at a parking lot adjacent to the study site which flew to a nearb y tree and watched. However, it (I.S., pers. obs.) to mention two additional records. Insect was spotted by a group of Chalk-browed Mockingbirds prey was observed only once near the park, a caterpillar (Mimus saturninus), whose members mobbed the falcon caught on a tree by a juvenile hawk (Corbo et al. 2013). until the raptor left the site. In southern and southeastern Brazil, the Roadside At midmorning of 09 January 2011 we observed Hawk breeds during the austral spring (Santos et al. 2009, a Roadside Hawk perched on a branch, cleaning the I.S., pers. obs.). Thus, predation on doves by this hawk is toes and bill from vestiges (blood, small tissue pieces) of not restricted to its breeding period. On the other hand, a recent meal. A few spotted plumes characteristic of a predation on birds, including the Eared Dove, seems fledgling Eared Dove were found under the perch. During restricted to the breeding season of the Plumbeous Kite, the cleaning session, the hawk was vigorously mobbed by also in the austral spring (Loures-Ribeiro et al. 2003, a Streaked Flycatcher and a Greater Kiskadee (Pitangus Sazima 2008). However, in southern Brazil, only insects sulphuratus) until it flew off the park were fed to nestlings of this kite (Jacomassa 2011), which The Roadside Hawk was the main predator of the agrees with the general diet recorded for the Plumbeous two dove species at the studied park, where it is common Kite in Brazil and elsewhere in the Neotropics (Sick and probably hunts there often (Corbo et al. 2013). This 1994, Seavy et al. 1997, Sazima 2008). Food delivered to raptor feeds mostly on insects and rodents (Beltzer 1990, nestlings both of the Roadside Hawk and the Plumbeous Thiollay 1994, Baladrón et al. 2011), but at the study park Kite, which demand an energetically rich diet, plausibly it was observed to feed on fledgling and nestling birds has an important proportion of vertebrates including Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(1): 2017 Peaceless doves: predators of two columbid species at an urban park in southeastern Brazil Sazima & Hipolito Corbo M., Macarrão A., D'Angelo G.B., Almeida C.H., Silva W.R. & birds (Panasci & Whitacre 2000, Sazima 2008, present Sazima I. 2013. Aves do campus da Unicamp e arredores. Vinhedo: paper). Avisbrasilis Editora. The Aplomado Falcon preys on insects and s mall D'Angelo G.B., Nagai M.E. & Sazima I. 2016. Relações alimentares de vertebrates, including birds (White et al. 1994, Sick aves com Capivaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) em parque urbano 1997). Studies on the feeding habits of this falcon in no sudeste do Brasil. Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, São Paulo 56: 33–43. Dardanelli S., Calamari N.C., Canavelli S.B. & Zaccagnini M.E. 2011. Mexico and Argentina indicate that birds are the most Biología de la Paloma Mediana (Zenaida auriculata), Manchada important component in the diet of this raptor, including (Patagioenas maculosa) y Picazuró (Patagioenas picazuro). INTA the Picazuro Pigeon and the Eared Dove (Hector EEA Paraná. Serie Extensión 64: 11–22. 1985, Bó 1999, Salvador 2012), which agrees with our Develey P.E. & Endrigo E. 2004. Aves da Grande São Paulo – Guia de Campo. São Paulo: Aves e Fotos Editora. observations at the study park. Hartmann P.A. & Marques O.A.V. 2005. Diet and habitat use of The Eastern Green Whiptail feeds mostly on two sympatric species of Philodryas (Colubridae), in south Brazil. rodents and reptiles, but birds are present in its diet as Amphibia-Reptilia 26: 25–31. well (Hartmann & Marques 2005). Indeed, this snake Hector D.P. 1985. The diet of the Aplomado Falcon (F alco femoralis) in eastern Mexico. Condor 87: 336–342. is a skilled bird hunter able to catch adult passerine Jacomassa F.A.F. 2011. Observações em um ninho de Sovi Ictinia birds and is mobbed whenever spotted by mockingbirds plumbea (Gmelin, 1788) (Falconiformes: Accipitridae) no sul do and other passerines (Sazima & Marques 2007, Sazima Brasil. Biotemas 24: 77–82. 2015b). Thus, its preying on an Eared Dove nestling Loures-Ribeiro A., Gimenes M.R. & Anjos L. 2003. Observações sobre would not come as a surprise, and possibly this snake is an o comportamento reprodutivo de Ictinia plumbea (Falconiformes: Accipitridae) no campus da Universidade Estadual de Maringá, important predator on the dove and other bird nestlings Paraná, Brasil. Ararajuba 11: 85–87. in anthropogenic areas. Panasci T. & Whitacre D. 2000. Diet and foraging behavior of nesting In conclusion, at a small urban park in southeastern Roadside Hawks in Petén, Guatemala. Wilson Bulletin 112: 555– Brazil, a falconid and two accipitrid raptors seem to regularly prey on two dove species. Our observations Salvador S.A. 2012. Dieta y reproducción del Halcón Aplomado (Falco femoralis femoralis) en Villa María, Córdoba, Argentina. indicate that the Roadside Hawk preys on doves Historia Natural 2: 111–118. throughout the year, whereas the Plumbeous Kite restricts Santos W.W.M.S., Copatti J.F. & Rosado F.R. 2009. 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Ornithology Research – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2017
Keywords: Accipitridae; anthropogenic area; Dipsadidae; raptors; snake
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