|Are oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) selecting the most profitable mussels (Mytilus edulis)?|In: Animal Behaviour. Academic Press: London,. ISSN 0003-3472, more
Feeding; Prey selection; Haematopus ostralegus Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758 [WoRMS]; Marine
Size selection by oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus) feeding on the edible mussel Mytilus edulis by hammering the ventral side is analysed and compared with the predictions of an optimal diet model. It is found that the oystercatchers select mussels between 30 and 45 mm long which are not overgrown by barnacles and which are thin shelled. However, after including waste handling events in both the profitability and the diet model, and estimating the prey population available to the oystercatchers, a good agreement between the prediction and the data is found. These results are further discussed in the light of optimal foraging theory.