The food of Montagu’s Harriers during pre-laying period. - J. Wiacek, M. Niedzwiedz. - Berkut. 14 (2). 2005. - P. 189-192.
Food of the Montagu’s Harrier was analysed from 158 pellets and 375 direct observations in two Nature Reserves: “Roskosz” and “Bagno Serebryskie”. Pellets collection was conducted in the seasons 1992–1995 at calcareous marshes of Che³m region in eastern Poland. Pellets were collected from perching places, male platforms, roosting and resting places. 210 prey items were identified from 158 pellets. Main component of the food were small mammals (56,2 %), small passerines (24,3 %), eggs (9,5 %), lizards (8,1 %), frogs (1,4 %) and fishes (0,5 %). Small mammals like rodents were common prey in the diet of the Montagu’s harrier. They represented 85,0 % of mammalian prey. The Common Vole was the most frequent rodent (50,0 %) in the pellets. The largest mammalian prey were Common Rat. The direct observations of food transfer were made using binoculars and scope. Results showed that main food component were vertebrates (98,4 %). Only 1,6 % were represented by insects. Most common prey were small mammals (58,7 %). Birds, reptiles (lizards) and amphibians (frogs) were represented by less than 2 % of prey. Non identified vertebrates accounted for 37,8 %. Both data, based on the pellets and direct observation showed that small mammals were the main component of harrier’s food. [English].
Key words: Poland, Montagu’s Harrier, Circus pygargus, birds of prey, food, pellets.
Address: J. Wiacek, Dept. of Nature Conservation, Curie-Sklodowska University, Akademicka 19 Str., 20–033 Lublin, Poland; e-mail: rjwiacek@poczta.onet.pl.