Widespread cannibalism by fledglings in a nesting colony of Black-crowned Night-Herons

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Abstract

I studied the diet and foraging behavior of fledgling Black-crowned Night-Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) in a mixed-species nesting colony of Black-crowned Night-Herons and Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula) in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1 of 5 years, cannibalism of nestlings that had fallen or climbed out of nests was common, accounting for 66 of 94 (70.2%) prey items taken by fledglings. Juveniles took younger conspecifics by both predation and scavenging. Isolated incidents of cannibalism among Black-crowned Night-Herons have been reported previously, but not on a colony-wide scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-104
Number of pages4
JournalWilson Journal of Ornithology
Volume118
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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