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Frugivory in Raptors: New Observations from Australia and a Global Review

1
The Nature Conservancy, Suite 2-01, 60 Leicester Street, Carlton, VIC 3053, Australia
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School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
3
Tinaroo Waters Productions, Kairi, QLD 4872, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jukka Jokimäki
Birds 2021, 2(4), 338-350; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2040025
Received: 28 September 2021 / Revised: 14 October 2021 / Accepted: 15 October 2021 / Published: 19 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers of Birds 2021)
Raptors (birds of prey) typically consume vertebrate and invertebrate prey. However, some species have also been recorded consuming fruits. We described instances of the Black Kite (Milvus migrans) and Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) consuming avocado (Persea americana) fruit in northern Australia. This appears to be the first instance of fruit consumption by raptors in Australia. We also review and document instances of fruit consumption by 29 species of raptors across the world, significantly more than previous reviews.
The diets of raptors are some of the best studied and well-known of all bird groups. Raptors are typically carnivores, hunting and feeding on vertebrates and, for some species, invertebrates. Here, we described instances of the Black Kite (Milvus migrans) and Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus) consuming non-native avocado (Persea americana) fruit in commercial orchards in northern Australia, over multiple years. This appears to be the first instance of frugivory by raptors in Australia. We review instances of frugivory for other raptor species globally. This review finds that 29 species of raptor from the families Falconidae, Accipitridae and Cathartidae have been recorded consuming fruit, significantly more than previous reviews. View Full-Text
Keywords: raptor; frugivory; fruit; diet; avocado; Persea americana; Black Kite Milvus migrans; Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus raptor; frugivory; fruit; diet; avocado; Persea americana; Black Kite Milvus migrans; Whistling Kite Haliastur sphenurus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fitzsimons, J.A.; Leighton, J. Frugivory in Raptors: New Observations from Australia and a Global Review. Birds 2021, 2, 338-350. https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2040025

AMA Style

Fitzsimons JA, Leighton J. Frugivory in Raptors: New Observations from Australia and a Global Review. Birds. 2021; 2(4):338-350. https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2040025

Chicago/Turabian Style

Fitzsimons, James A., and Jack Leighton. 2021. "Frugivory in Raptors: New Observations from Australia and a Global Review" Birds 2, no. 4: 338-350. https://doi.org/10.3390/birds2040025

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