Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.31(1). (2023) p.88-110.

Relationship between landscape structure and the diet of Common Barn-owl (Tyto alba) at different distances from the Drava River ecological corridor
Győző F. Horváth, Kinga Mánfai & Adrienn Horváth

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This study investigated the relationship between landscape structure at different distances from the Drava River in South Hungary and the food composition of the Common Barn-owl. Pellets were collected from 15 villages between 2006 and 2008. Based on the CORINE land cover elements, five land use types were determined, and five landscape metrics were calculated to compare land use and landscape structure in the three distance zones. There were significant differences in the Shannon and Simpson diversity of small mammal assemblages between the three areas. A positive relationship was detected between the distance categories and the abundance distribution of the Striped Field Mouse and Field Vole. The relative abundance of the Striped Field Mouse in the diet of Common Barn-owl was influenced by the increase in the mean perimeter/area ratio and the mean of the contiguity index. The value of the trophic level index was negatively influenced by the decrease in crop patches and the increase in pasture and grassland areas, which land use types facilitate the distribution of insectivores. Our results suggest that landscape characteristics influence prey occurrence in hunting areas and the frequency-dependent availability of small mammal prey, which determines the resource utilization of Common Barn-owl.