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Calcium Supplements in the Diet of Nestling Tree Swallows near Acid Sensitive Lakes.

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • We quantified supplemental sources of calcium in the diet of nestling Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) near acid sensitive lakes in northwestern Ontario. Among the calcium-rich items brought to nest boxes by adult swallows and ingested by nestlings, fish bones (particularly flat pieces) were most numerous, followed by crayfish exoskeleton, clam shell, and bird eggshell in that order. Only 5% of the items eaten were longer than 10mm, whereas over 29% of the items found in nest boxes were in this size class. We found significantly fewer calcium-rich items in the stomachs of nestlings from acidic lakes than in those from referencel akes, suggesting that items suitable for ingestion may be scarcer there. However, Tree Swallows flew at least 50 to 650 m from their nest-site lake to obtain calciumrich items. Because lake acidification has reduced numbers of animals providing calcium for Tree Swallows in regions in which many lakes are atmospherically acidified, the availability of calcium sources for nestlings may be seriously affected.

  • Date created
    1991
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3NP1WM77
  • License
    © The Cooper Ornithological Society 1991
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • St. Louis, V.L., and Breebaart, L. (1991). Calcium Supplements in the Diet of Nestling Tree Swallows near Acid Sensitive Lakes. The Condor, 93(2), 286-294