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How flexible is bird diet to resource variability during Fall migration?

Principal Investigator(s):

Dr. Richard Feldman


Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park

Project Term:


Our objective in this study is to establish the degree of synchrony between the temporal patterns of bird migration, arthropod biomass, and fruit availability at Acadia National Park. Further, it is to establish whether birds consume fruit during fall migration and, if so, establish the principal frugivores, the fruit they consume, and how the pattern of fruit consumption changes during fall migration. Not only does our study provide a window into bird-plant interactions in one of the most important protected areas in the eastern US but it can add information related to bird stopover behavior over a larger portion of the Atlantic flyway than previously known. Besides simply establishing whether birds consume fruit at Acadia, we ask the following specific questions:

  • What species of fruit do birds consume?
  • What species of birds consume fruit?
  • Do both resident and migratory bird species consume fruit?
  • Do birds consume the most commonly available fruit species or do they specialize on certain species, regardless of their availability?

Program Report: How flexible is bird diet to resource variability during Fall migration?

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