Diet composition of black-winged kite (Elanus Caeruleus) inhabiting the arid zone of Rajasthan

Madan Lal Meghwal and Soni, K. C.

This study of Black-winged kite (Elanus caeruleus) was conducted during the 2012-2014 in 100 km2 area in and around Churu and Ratangarh city (Churu district) of Rajasthan, India (Lat 29˚ N, Long 75˚ E and 286 Msl). It is a small diurnal bird of prey. It belongs to a larger family called Accipitridae, along with the hawks, eagles and old vultures. Black-winged kite feeds mainly on small rodents it is usually considered to be rodent specialist but it also takes a variety of insects (locusts, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles), lizards, rodents such as shrews and rats, small birds, occasionally small snakes and frogs. Primarily the Black-winged kite found to feed on rodents, lizard, frog, insects and birds. Its diet composition was determined. Major components of stomach contents were identified as rodents (85 to 87%) in which rats (74% to 75%) were large in number than house mice (10 to 11%), insect (5 to 6%), frog (1 to 2%), birds (3 to 4%), lizard (3 to 4%). Eighteen intact faecal pellets were collected of which seven obtained from grazing field and remaining from the nests of rural area. Faecal pellets collected from glazing field (n = 7) analyzed. They contained undigested bones of rodents (84 to 88%), birds (1 to 2%). I have observed undigested elytra and leg parts of insects (5 to 6%), lizards (3 to 4%) unidentified material (3 to 4%) observed in faecal pellets. In AFH (Agriculture farm houses), SD (Sand dunes), FA (Forest area), GF (Grazing field) and GYA (Graveyard). Black-winged Kite was found to feed on rats and mice. To eating insects have been seen AFH, SD, FA and GF. In monsoon season the Black-winged Kite was found to capture frog from AFH. The Black-winged Kite eat lizard & small snakes in all microhabitats. In AFH and FA Black-winged Kite was found feed on the birds.

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