Spatial structure in the diet of imperial eagles Aquila heliaca in Kazakhstan

Todd E. Katzner, Evgeny A. Bragin, Steven T. Knick, Andrew T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We evaluated the relationship between spatial variability in prey and food habits of eastern imperial eagles Aquila heliaca at a 90,000 ha national nature reserve in north-central Kazakhstan. Eagle diet varied greatly within the population and the spatial structure of eagle diet within the population varied according to the scale of measurement. Patterns in dietary response were inconsistent with expectations if either ontogenetic imprinting or competition determined diet choice, but they met expectations if functional response determined diet. Eagles nesting near a high-density prey resource used that resource almost exclusively. In contrast, in locations with no single high-density prey species, eagles' diet was more diverse. Our results demonstrate that spatial structuring of diet of vertebrate predators can provide important insight into the mechanisms that drive dietary decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-600
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Avian Biology
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006

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Kazakhstan
eagles
diet
eating habits
imprinting
functional response
resource
nature reserve
Aquila heliaca
conservation areas
vertebrate
vertebrates
predator
predators
food

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

Cite this

Spatial structure in the diet of imperial eagles Aquila heliaca in Kazakhstan. / Katzner, Todd E.; Bragin, Evgeny A.; Knick, Steven T.; Smith, Andrew T.

In: Journal of Avian Biology, Vol. 37, No. 6, 11.2006, p. 594-600.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Katzner, Todd E. ; Bragin, Evgeny A. ; Knick, Steven T. ; Smith, Andrew T. / Spatial structure in the diet of imperial eagles Aquila heliaca in Kazakhstan. In: Journal of Avian Biology. 2006 ; Vol. 37, No. 6. pp. 594-600.
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