Acta Univ. Agric. Silvic. Mendelianae Brun. 2017, 65, 225-233
Published online 2017-02-28

Barn Owl (Tyto alba) Diet Composition on Intensively Used Agricultural Land in the Danube Lowland

Tomáš Veselovský, Kristián Bacsa, Filip Tulis

Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Tr. A. Hlinku 1, 94901, Nitra, Slovak Republic

Based on pellets analysis from five localities in south western Slovakia (Malá Mužla, Malé Ripňany, Obid, Opatovský Sokolec and Tešedíkovo), we studied the diet composition of Barn Owl (Tyto alba) in intensively cultivated agricultural lands. A total of 6218 specimens of prey, 17 mammalian and 7 bird species were identified. The main prey species found in all food samples was the Common Vole (Microtus arvalis), varying between 56 % and 67 %. The proportion of synanthropic species (Rattus norvegicus, Passer domesticus) and species inhabiting agricultural landscapes (Crocidura leucodon, Crocidura suaveolens, Mus sp.) increases in localities with a lower ratio of the Common Vole. The results suggest land use affects the diet of Barn Owls, confirming conclusions which have been drawn in previous studies. From faunistic point of view, discovering the Pannonian Root Vole (Microtus oeconomus mehelyi) in the diet from Malá Mužla was important.


This research was supported by a grant from VEGA Project No. 1/0608/16 and the University Grant Agency of the Faculty of Natural Sciences, Constantine the Philospher University in Nitra, No.VIII/34/2016.


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