Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Choice of foraging area with respect to predation risk in redshanks: The effects of weather and predator activity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

DOI

Abstract

Animals often trade off risk of predation and risk of starvation when making foraging decisions. Redshanks, Tringa totanus, wintering in an area of high sparrowhawk, Accipiter nisus, predation were studied to determine how simultaneous variations in energy requirements and the risk of predation determine choice of foraging area. In particular, we focus on the effects of weather on this trade-off. Redshanks could either feed on a saltmarsh where both food availability and predation risk are high, or on safer, but less productive, inter-tidal flats. On the saltmarsh, redshanks could choose to feed in profitable but high risk areas close to cover or in lower risk creeks. In general, low temperatures resulted in birds using the saltmarsh habitat more, foraging closer to cover, and making less use of safe creek micro-habitats. This is consistent with low temperatures increasing redshanks' metabolic costs, thus increasing their preparedness to accept higher predation risk for greater foraging returns. At low temperatures sparrowhawks were more successful at catching redshanks, probably as a consequence of adoption of more risky foraging options by the redshanks, but rate of attack was probably not strongly affected by weather. Redshanks responded to precipitation by foraging in areas that reduced their predation risk. When precipitation was high, redshanks also became more prone to false alarm flights. These effects suggest that precipitation may increase predation risk by making the approach of a predator harder to detect. Redshanks foraged further from cover in high winds, suggesting that wind affected predation risk more than starvation risk. Redshanks responded strongly to sparrowhawk activity: use of the saltmarsh was less and redshanks foraged further from cover during days with a high attack frequency.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalOikos
Volume87
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Light stalks increase the precision and accuracy of non-breeding locations calculated from geolocator tags: a field test from a long-distance migrant

    Blackburn, E., Burgess, M., Freeman, B., Riseley, A., Azang, A., Ivande, S. T., Hewson, C. & Cresswell, W., 28 Nov 2019, In : Bird Study. Latest Articles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. A fruit diet rather than invertebrate diet maintains a robust innate immunity in an omnivorous tropical songbird

    Nwaogu, C. J., Galema, A., Cresswell, W., Dietz, M. W. & Tieleman, B. I., 4 Nov 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Animal Ecology. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Birdsbesafe® collar cover reduces bird predation by domestic cats (Felis catus)

    Pemberton, C. & Ruxton, G. D., 8 Oct 2019, In : Journal of Zoology. Early View

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Secondary dispersal mechanisms of winged seeds: a review

    der Weduwen, D. & Ruxton, G. D., Oct 2019, In : Biological Reviews. 94, 5, p. 1830-1838 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Related by journal

  1. Anthropogenic disturbance in a changing environment: modelling lifetime reproductive success to predict the consequences of multiple stressors on a migratory population

    Pirotta, E., Mangel, M., Costa, D. P., Goldbogen, J., Harwood, J., Hin, V., Irvine, L. M., Mate, B. R., McHuron, E. A., Palacios, D. M., Schwarz, L. K. & New, L., Sep 2019, In : Oikos. 128, 9, p. 1340-1357 18 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Species richness change across spatial scales

    Chase, J. M., McGill, B. J., Thompson, P. L., Antão, L. H., Bates, A. E., Blowes, S. A., Dornelas, M., Gonzalez, A., Magurran, A. E., Supp, S. R., Winter, M., Bjorkman, A. D., Bruelheide, H., Byrnes, J. E. K., Cabral, J. S., Elahi, R., Gomez, C., Guzman, H. M., Isbell, F., Myers-Smith, I. H. & 5 others, Jones, H. P., Hines, J., Vellend, M., Waldock, C. & O'Connor, M., Aug 2019, In : Oikos. 128, 8, p. 1079-1091

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Multi-decadal and ontogenetic trophic shifts inferred from stable isotope ratios of pinniped teeth

    Hanson, N. N., Jones, E. L. & Harris, R., Jan 2018, In : Oikos. 127, 1, p. 134-146 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Ecological traits reveal functional nestedness of bird communities in habitat islands: a global survey

    Matthews, T. J., Sheard, C., Cottee-jones, H. E. W., Bregman, T. P., Tobias, J. A. & Whittaker, R. J., 7 Jul 2015, In : Oikos. 124, 7, p. 817-826

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of activity budgets in sympatric grey and harbour seals

    Russell, D. J. F., McClintock, B. T., Matthiopoulos, J., Thompson, P., Thompson, D., Hammond, P. S., Jones, E. L., MacKenzie, M., Moss, S. & McConnell, B. J., Nov 2015, In : Oikos. 124, 11, p. 1462-1472

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 261902482

Top