Food profile of Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea during an annual cycle in the Algerian Babors Mountains of North Africa
This study showed from the analysis of 180 droppings of the Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea harvested during a period of one year from the Babors Mountains (Bejaia, Algeria) that insects formed the main part of the diet (85.9% of identified items). The other food categories included arachnids, crustaceans and gastropods. Among
the insects, Coleoptera (beetles) was the main order consisting of 37.4% of identified items. The most frequently recorded family was Baetidae (Ephemeroptera; 9.8%). At the prey-taxa level, an unidentified Baetidae was the
most frequently encountered and represented 9.7% of the diet. This species was present in the diet throughout the year. Prey taxa classified as aquatic were more frequently encountered (54.2%) compared with those considered terrestrial. This study showed that seasonal fluctuations in the diet of Grey Wagtail were very weak. Prey size ranged from 0.2 to 30.5 mm, with an average of 8.9 mm. Overall, this study showed that Grey wagtail fed on species of a wide variety of taxa, with little variation across the year.
Keywords: Algeria, annual cycle, Babors Mountains, diet, Grey Wagtail, seasonal variations