Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology

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Analysis of pellets from a suburban Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus nest in El Harrach, Algiers, Algeria

K Souttou, B Baziz, S Doumandji, C Denys, R Brahimi


The diet of a Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus in a suburban area of Algiers at El Harrach was determined by pellet analysis over two years. In both years, the hybrid sparrow (Passer domesticus x P. hispaniolensis) was the main prey item, based on relative frequency (22.3% and 58.7% in 1999 and 2000, respectively). Greenfinch Carduelis chloris was the next most important prey item in 1999 (14% of relative frequency), followed by Kuhl's Pipistrelle Pipistrellus kuhli (9.4%), striped earwigs Labidura riparia and rose chafers Potosia cuprea (7.9% each) and millipedes Polydesmus sp., which contributed 5.8% of the relative proportion. In 2000, the other prey species in the diet made up less than 5% of the proportion. In terms of biomass, the hybrid sparrow was the main prey represented, with 47.6% in 1999 and 78.7% in 2000, followed by Carduelis chloris, with 29.8% of biomass, and ocellated skink Chalcides ocellatus, with 10.2% of biomass in 1999. In 2000, the other prey species made up less than 10% of the biomass. As with other urban studies in Europe, birds make up an important component of the kestrel's diet.

Ostrich 2006, 77(3&4): 175–178

AJOL African Journals Online