On the diet of owls (Strigiformes) in Jordan

Open access

Abstract

Between 2005 and 2015 I undertook eight trips to Jordan during which I collected pellets from seven owl species. In them 14,203 food items were identified. Mammals (Mammalia, 46 species, 37.9% of prey items) formed the most numerous component, invertebrates (Evertebrata) made up 33.4%, birds (Aves, 25.4%) were represented with at least 104 species, reptiles (Reptilia) came to 3.2%, and two species of amphibian were identified (Amphibia, 0.2%). Pharoah eagle owls (Bubo ascalaphus) and Byzantine eagle owls (Bubo bubo interpositus) primarily hunt larger mammals and birds, although Agamidae and Scorpiones were also represented more frequently among B. ascalaphus. Mammals predominated among tawny owls (Strix aluco wilkonskii) (Mammalia, 58.9%), mainly the eastern rock mouse (Apodemus mystacinus) (24.9%). For wintering long-eared owls Asio otus otus the most important food was small birds (Aves, 78.3%), especially house sparrows (Passer domesticus), Fringillidae and Sylviidae. For barn owls (Tyto alba erlangeri) the principal prey was small mammals (83.1%), mainly mice (Mus sp.), Günther’s vole (Microtus guentheri), grey hamster (Cricetulus migratorius) and shrews (Soricidae). Hume’s tawny owl (Strix butleri) pellets contained mostly invertebrates (58.9%) and lizards, and their most frequent mammal prey were Wagner’s gerbil (Gerbillus dasyurus) and spiny mice (Acomys sp.). There was an even higher propostion of invertebrates (86.4%) among lilith owlets (Athene lilith). In addition to the insect orders Coleoptera, Orthoptera and Hymenoptera, remains of Scorpiones and Solifugae were also frequently found. The summarized results from individual owl species are compared with those gathered by the author in the surrounding Middle Eastern countries: Israel, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Amr ZS Al-Melhim WN & Yousef MA 1997: Mammals remains from pellets of the eagle owl Bubo bubo from Azraq Neture Reserve Jordan. Zoology in the Middle East 14: 5–10.

  • Amr ZS Handal EN Bibi F Najajrah MH & Qumsiyeh MB 2016a: Change in diet of the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) suggests decline in biodiversity in Wadi Al Makhrour Betlehem Governorate Palestinian Territories. Slovak Raptor Journal 10: 75–80.

  • Amr ZS Robb MS Nunes JMG Baker MAA & Walsh A 2016b: Diet of the Omani owl Strix butleri near Nakhal Oman. Zoology in the Middle East 62: 17–20.

  • Amr ZS Abu Baker MA Qumsiyeh M & Eid E 2018: Systematics Distribution and ecological analysis of rodents in Jordan. Zootaxa 4397: 1–94.

  • Andrews IJ 1995: The birds of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Burns & Harris Limited Dundec Scotland.

  • Aulagnier S Haffner P Mitchell-Jones AJ Moutou F & Zima J 2009: Mammals of Europe North Africa and the Middle East. A & C Black Publishers London.

  • Baker MAA Qarqaz M & Amr ZS 2005: Diet of the barn owl (Tyto alba) in Shaumari Wildlife Reserve Eastern Jordan. Jornal by the National Museum Natural History Series 174 1–4: 125–127.

  • Benda P Andreas M Kock D Lučan R Munclinger P Nová P Obuch J Ochman K Reiter A Uhrin M & Weinfurtová D 2006: Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the Eastern Mediterranean. Part 4. Bat fauna of Syria: distribution systematics ecology. Acta Soc. Zool. Bohem. 70: 1–329.

  • Benda P Lučan RK Obuch J Reiter A Andreas M Bačkor P Bohnenstengel T Eid EK Ševčík M Vallo P & Amr ZS 2010: Bats (Mammalia: Chiroptera) of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East. Part 8. Bats of Jordan: fauna ecology echolocation ecto-parasites. Acta Soc. Zool. Bohem. 74: 185–353.

  • Comay O & Dayan T 2018a: What determines prey selection in owls? Roles of prey traits prey class enviromental variables and taxonomic specialization. Ecology and Evolution 22: 3382–3392. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3899.

  • Comay O & Dayan T 2018b: From micromammals to paleoenvironments. Archeological and Anthropological Sciences 10: 2159–2171. DOI: 10.1007/s12520-018-0608-8.

  • Dor M 1947: Examining the diet of the barn owl. The Nature and the Land 7: 337–344.

  • Göcer EG 2016: Diet of a nesting pair of long-eared owls Asio otus in an urban environment in south-western Turkey (Aves: Strigidae). Zoology in the Middle East 62: 1–4.

  • Harrison DL & Bates PJ 1991: The Mammals of Arabia Second Edition. Harrison Zoological Museum Kent.

  • Holliday T 2016: The book of frogs. A life size guide to six hundred species from around the world. Ivy Press Lewes.

  • König C Wieck F & Becking J-H 2015: Owls of the world 2nd ed. Yale University Press New Haven & London.

  • Mendelssohn HR & Yom-Tow Y 1987: Plants and animals of the land of Israel. An ilustrated encyclopedia Appendix to volume 7: Mammals Skull and body measurement and plates. Ministry of Defence Publishing House and Society for the Protection of Nature Tel Aviv.

  • Obuch J 2001: Using marked differences from the mean (MDFM) method for evaluation of contingency tables. Buteo 12: 37–46.

  • Obuch J 2011a: Diet of long-eared owl in the Middle East 14–15. In: Ruzic M Johnson DH & Paunovic K (eds) International conference on the survey monitoring and conservation of the long-eared owl (Asio otus). Abstract book Serbian owl conservation centre Kikinda (Serbia).

  • Obuch J 2011b: Spatial and temporal diversity of the diet of tawny owl (Strix aluco). Slovak Raptor Journal 5: 1–120. DOI: 10.2478/v10262-012-0057-8.

  • Obuch J 2014: Potrava výra skalného Bubo bubo v Jordánsku [Diet of the Eurasian eagle owl Bubo bubo in Jordan] 160–164. In: Manko P & Baranová B (eds) Zoológia 2014 & 19. Feriancove dni Prešovská univerzita v Prešove Prešov. [In Slovak with English abstract]

  • Obuch J 2017: Potrava sov v Jordánsku [Diet of owls in Jordan] 13–14. In: Kropil R & Lešo P (eds) Aplikovaná ornitológia 2017 – Zborník abstraktov Technická univerzita vo Zvolene Zvolen. [In Slovak]

  • Obuch J & Benda P 2009: Food of the barn owl (Tyto alba) in the Eastern Mediterranean. Slovak Raptor Journal 3: 41–50. DOI: 10.2478/v10262-012-0032-4.

  • Obuch J & Krištín A 2004: Prey composition of the little owl Athene noctua in an arid zone (Egypt Syria Iran). Folia Zoologica 53: 65–79.

  • Obuch J & Tulis F 2015: The diet of long-eared owl in Jordan: 183. In: Bryja J Řehák Z & Zukal J (eds) Zoologické dny Brno 2015. Sborník abstraktů [Zoological days Brno 2015. Book of abstracts] Institute ofVertebrate Biology AS CR Brno.

  • Porter RF Christensen S & Schiermacker-Hansen P 1996: Field guide to the birds of the Middle East. T & A. D. Poyser London.

  • Rifai LB Al-Melhim WN & Amr ZS 1998: On the diet of the barn owl Tyto alba in northern Jordan. Zoology in the Middle East 16: 31–34.

  • Rifai LB Al-Melhim WN Ghoraibeh BM & Amr ZS 2000: The diet of the desert eagle owl Bubo bubo ascalaphus in the Eastern Desert of Jordan. Journal ofArid Environments 44: 369–372.

  • Shannon CE & Weaver W 1949: The mathematical theory of communication. University of Illinois Press Urbana.

  • Shehab AH 2004: Diet of the eagle owl Bubo bubo in Syria. Zoology in the Middle East 33: 21–26.

  • Šipöcz T 2004: Zber. Databázový program Verzia 3. [Collection. Database program. Version 3]. Botanical Garden Comenius University Blatnica. [In Slovak]

  • Thevenot M 2006: Aperçu du régime alimentaire du Grand-duc d’Afrique du Nord Bubo ascalaphus à Tata Moyen Draa. Go-South Bulletin 3: 28–30.

Search
Journal information
Impact Factor


CiteScore 2018: 0.38

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.157
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.331

Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 153 122 9
PDF Downloads 150 105 8