By M. Morrison

Stories in Avian Biology is a sequence of works too lengthy for The Condor, released at abnormal periods through the Cooper Ornithological Society.

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Extra resources for Avian Foraging Theory Methodlogy and Applications (Studies in avian biology)

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To learn more about the factors that should be considered when measuring food availability, I searched through the current literature for patterns in the way biologists justify their sampling methods. In this paper, I synthesize results ofthis search, and suggest how we might begin to test whether our measures of food availability are appropriate. METHODS After cataloguingthe ways by which biologistsmeasurefood availability in the field, I choseto concentrate on the argumentsgiven to justify use of a given measure.

Trapping methods that give biased estimates of arthropod abundance can sometimes be related to other methods that are lessbiased(but usuallymore expensive)by meansof a ratio estimator or estimation of the biased selection function. Key Words: Arthropods; insects;prey abundance;prey availability; sampling. , Southwood 1978); many have been used in ornithology. Most ornithological studies use insect sampling to determine types, numbers, and distribution of insects available to birds as prey; many also are designed to examine the use of those prey through simultaneous studies of diet and foraging behavior.

Birds may change search tactics with variation in prey availability. For example, several specieshave been shown to perform proportionately more aerial flycatching maneuvers as flying insects become more abundant (Davies 1976, 1977b; Davies and Green 1976; Greenwood and Harvey 1978; Holmes et al. 1978; Robinson and Holmes 1984). These changes probably reflect shifts in relative availability of one prey type over another, however, and not necessarily a change in overall prey availability. MEASURING TABLE 2.

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