Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.30(2). (2022) p.188-194.

Spectrum of animal and plant in the diet of Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola L.) based on literature data
Attila Bende & Richárd László

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Based on the results of dietary surveys of the Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola L.) in 11 countries (Great Britain, Scotland, France, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Romania), 63 taxa (42 animal and 21 plant) were detected in Woodcock gizzard contents, of which the predominant dietary components were of animal origin. The composition of the dietary components varies only within a narrow spectrum, adapting to seasonal changes in the insect fauna and the supply of the area. Earthworms (Lumbricus spp.) represent the dominant proportion, also with larvae of Dermaptera, Myriapoda, Coleoptera taxa, and Diplopoda and Araneidae species being present in significant numbers. The mass fraction of plant components (mainly weed seeds) is low, with occasional occurrence of vegetative plant parts. The narrow species range of animal taxa recorded and the low proportion of plant dietary components clearly indicate that the Woodcock is a specialist species, and the availability of a few major dietary component taxa groups are a limiting factor in case of the Woodcock. Therefore, it is a major determinant of the diurnal, seasonal and annual movement patterns.