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Foraging Behavior Patterns Suggest a Possible Cost Associated with Participation in Mixed-Species Bird Flocks

Richard L. Hutto
Oikos
Vol. 51, No. 1 (Jan., 1988), pp. 79-83
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3565809
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3565809
Page Count: 5
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Foraging Behavior Patterns Suggest a Possible Cost Associated with Participation in Mixed-Species Bird Flocks
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Abstract

The species that participated in mixed-species foraging flocks in the pine-oak woodlands of western Mexico differed significantly in their foraging microhabitats (plant species and locations within the plants) and foraging movement patterns (average number of moves s-1 and average length of a given move). Because the foraging locations and rates of progression while feeding within trees differed among species, some species must be making continual adjustments to match the overall rate of flock progression. These same species may be buying the benefits of flocking at a cost in terms of feeding efficiency.

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