Diets of Owls and Feral Cats in HawaiiEntry ID: brdpier0009
Abstract: The feral house cat (Felis catus), Hawaiian Short-eared Owl or Pueo (Asio
flammeus sandwichensis), and Common Barn Owl (Tyto alba) are important
predators of birds and introduced rodents in Hawai'i. Cat scats from the
island of Hawai'i (n=87), Pueo pellets from Hawai'i, Kaua'i, and Kaho'olawe
(n=36), and Barn Owl pellets from Hawai'i, O'ahu and Kaho'olawe (n=301) were
examined to determine the ... incidence of rodent, bird and insect remains in the
diets of these predators. Rodents were the main prey of cats, Pueo, and Barn
Owls, but the incidence of bird remains in diets of all three predator species
was high relative to studies conducted elsewhere in the world.
All cat scats were collected in dry mamane (Sophora chrysophylla)-naio
(Myoporum sandwichensis) forests on the western and eastern slopes of Mauna Kea
above 2,000 m elevation. Pueo pellets were collected in dry forests on Mauna
Kea (n=13), from Kaumana Gulch on Kaho'olawe (n=21), and from the Alakai Swamp
on Kaua'i (n=2). Barn Owl pellets were collected at roosts and nests at
Kakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge on Hawai'i (n=207), near the Pu'u La'au
cabin on Mauna Kea (n= 73), on O'ahu (n=19), at Ahupi Beach on Kaho'olawe
(n=1). Acumulations of Barn Owl pellets were found below roosting sites,
whereas single Pueo pellets were found below tall trees or on open ground
(Mauna Kea), or on cliff faces on Kaho'olawe. On Kaua'i, Pueo pellets were
found in an open bog near the remains of a recent Pacific Golden Plover kill.
1.5.2 Bounding Rectangle Coordinates
Determined predator diets from analysis of 87 cat scats, 36 Pueo pellets,
301 Barn Owl pellets. All cat scats were collected in dry mamane-naio forests.
Size, appearance, and consistency were used to determine the source of scats
and pellets. Cat scats were smaller than pellets and had tapered ends with
fewer bones distributed through them. Pueo pellets were smaller than Barn Owl
pellets and had a uniformly cylindrical shape. They fit Mikkola's (1983)
description as "elongated, roughly cylindrical dark gray and formed from a
tightly-massed conglomeration of fur or feathers with a central core of mammal
and bird bones."
Purpose: To determine the incidence of rodent, bird and insect remains in
the diets of owls and ferals cats in Hawaii.
Data Set Citation
Dataset Originator/Creator: Thomas J. Snetsinger, Steven G. Fancy, John C. Simon, and James D. Jacobi
Dataset Title: Diets of owls and feral cats in Hawaii
Dataset Release Date: 1994
Dataset Release Place: Hawaii National Park, HI
Dataset Publisher: National Biological Survey, Hawaii Field Station
Start Date: 1990-01-01Stop Date: 1994-12-31
BIOSPHERE > ECOSYSTEMS > TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS > FORESTS
BIOSPHERE > ECOSYSTEMS > TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS > GRASSLANDS
BIOSPHERE > ECOSYSTEMS > TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEMS > ISLANDS
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES > BIRDS
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES
BIOLOGICAL CLASSIFICATION > ANIMALS/VERTEBRATES > MAMMALS
BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > SPECIES/POPULATION INTERACTIONS > SPECIES PREDATION
BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > SPECIES/POPULATION INTERACTIONS > SCAVENGING
BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > SPECIES/POPULATION INTERACTIONS > USE/FEEDING HABITATS
BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > SPECIES/POPULATION INTERACTIONS > POPULATION DYNAMICS
BIOSPHERE > ECOLOGICAL DYNAMICS > ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONS > CONSUMPTION RATES
ISO Topic Category
Access Constraints none
Use Constraints none
Data Set Progress
Role: TECHNICAL CONTACT
Phone: (970) 225-3571
Email: steve_fancy at nps.gov
National Park Service Natural Resource Information Division 1201 Oak Ridge Drive, Suite 150
City: Fort Collins
Province or State: CO
Postal Code: 80525-5589
Thomas Snetsinger, Steven G. Fancy, John C. Simon, and James D. Jacobi. 1994. Diets of owls and feral cats in Hawaii, Journal of the Hawaii Audubon Society, 54(8), Buteo, Vermillion, Vermillion, S. Dakota
Mikkola, H. 1983. Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus (Pontoppidan) in Owls of
Europe, Buteo, Vermillion, Vermillion, S. Dakota, pp. 233-250.
Tomich, P.Q. 1971. Notes on food and feeding behavior of raptorial birds in
Hawai'i, 'Elepaio, 31, pp. 111-114.
Conant, P. 1972. Mammals of Waihoi Valley with special reference to rodents. In Kjargarrd, J.I., editor., Scientific report of the Waihoi Valley Project, University Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, Pages 168-201.
Pratt, H.D., P. Bruner, and D.G. Berrett. 1987. The birds of Hawai'i and the tropical Pacific, Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J., 409 pp.
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Creation and Review Dates
Last DIF Revision Date: 2017-08-23