Saturday, January 3, 2009

Grasshoppers and Birds

A few days ago I mentioned I received the Fall 2008 copy of Wings from the Xerces Society. I did finally read the article on grasshoppers and noted several references to the importance of early emerging grasshopper species to plains birds, such as longspurs and burrowing owls.

"...more than 70 percent of the diet provided by longspurs to their nestlings was grasshoppers..." pg 10

"Juvenile burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia) are fed small mammals by their parents, but when they leave their burrows they capture large numbers of insects. These include the red-shanked grasshopper..." pg 11

We put grasshoppers and crickets in net cages with insectivores and small raptors (kestrels and Mississippi Kites) at Wild Bird Rescue when we can catch enough and they do indeed love them.

Good birding!

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