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Interference from adults forces young red knots to forage for longer and in dangerous places
van den Hout, P.J.; van Gils, J.A.; Robin, F.; van der Geest, M.; Dekinga, A.; Piersma, T. (2014). Interference from adults forces young red knots to forage for longer and in dangerous places. Anim. Behav. 88: 137-146.
In: Animal Behaviour. Academic Press: London,. ISSN 0003-3472, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    age segregation; danger-prone foraging; food-safety trade-off; habitatchoice; interference; predator

Authors  Top 
  • van den Hout, P.J., more
  • van Gils, J.A., more
  • Robin, F.
  • van der Geest, M., more
  • Dekinga, A., more
  • Piersma, T., more

    In birds and mammals, juvenile and adult foragers are often found apart from each other. In this study, we found this is also true for red knots, Calidris canutus canutus, wintering on the intertidal flats of Banc d'Arguin, Mauritania. Not only did juveniles feed separately from adults, they also fed at places where they were more vulnerable to predation by large falcons. That the dangerous areas used by juveniles were no better feeding areas led us to reject the food-safety trade-off that explained age-related distribution differences in many earlier studies. Instead, juveniles were displaced by adults in dyadic interactions which suggests that they suffered from interference from adults. Juveniles retreated to feeding areas that were more dangerous and yielded lower intake rates, and coped by extending foraging time by using higher, nearshore intertidal areas that were exposed for longer. When disturbed by predators in these nearshore areas, juveniles continued feeding whereas adults left. Thus, rather than compensating for increased predation danger by higher intake rates, on the Banc d'Arguin red knot juveniles foraged for longer.

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