prey choice

New Zealand falcon prey selection may not be driven by preference based on prey nutritional content

Little is known about how diurnal raptors, as apex predators, select their prey. It has been hypothesised that they are opportunistic, taking prey according to availability, and that they select prey based on prey size. The threatened New Zealand falcon or kārearea (Falco novaeseelandiae) is New Zealand’s only remaining endemic bird of prey. A previous study on prey caught by kārearea during the breeding season suggested that introduced avian prey were taken more often than expected, and endemic avian prey taken less often than expected, based on their abundance.