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Visual field shape and foraging ecology in diurnal raptors

Potier, Simon LU ; Duriez, Olivier; Cunningham, Gregory B.; Bonhomme, Vincent; O’Rourke, Colleen; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban and Bonadonna, Francesco (2018) In Journal of Experimental Biology 221(14).
Abstract

Birds, particularly raptors, are believed to forage primarily using visual cues. However, raptor foraging tactics are highly diverse – from chasing mobile prey to scavenging – which may reflect adaptations of their visual systems. To investigate this, we studied the visual field configuration of 15 species of diurnal Accipitriformes that differ in such tactics, first focusing on the binocular field and blind area by using a single-traits approach, and then exploring the shape of the binocular field with a morphometric approach. While the maximum binocular field width did not differ between species with different foraging tactics, the overall shape of their binocular fields did. In particular, raptors chasing terrestrial prey (ground... (More)

Birds, particularly raptors, are believed to forage primarily using visual cues. However, raptor foraging tactics are highly diverse – from chasing mobile prey to scavenging – which may reflect adaptations of their visual systems. To investigate this, we studied the visual field configuration of 15 species of diurnal Accipitriformes that differ in such tactics, first focusing on the binocular field and blind area by using a single-traits approach, and then exploring the shape of the binocular field with a morphometric approach. While the maximum binocular field width did not differ between species with different foraging tactics, the overall shape of their binocular fields did. In particular, raptors chasing terrestrial prey (ground predators) had a more protruding binocular field and a wider blind area above the head than did raptors chasing aerial or aquatic prey and obligate scavengers. Ground predators that forage on mammals from above have a wide but short bill – which increases ingestion rate – and a large suborbital ridge to avoid sun glare. This may explain the protruding binocular field and the wide blind area above the head. By contrast, species from the two other groups have long but narrow bills used to pluck, flake or tear food and may need large visual coverage (and reduced suborbital ridges) to increase their foraging efficiency (e.g. using large visual coverage to follow the escaping prey in three dimensions or detect conspecifics). We propose that binocular field shape is associated with bill and suborbital ridge shape and, ultimately, foraging strategies.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Accipitriformes, Bill, Binocular shape, Binocular vision, Morphometrics, Raptors
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
221
issue
14
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • scopus:85050338173
ISSN
0022-0949
DOI
10.1242/jeb.177295
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fb45733a-3d0b-43ef-8de5-c1c0c6e8049c
date added to LUP
2018-09-12 14:28:44
date last changed
2019-08-14 04:22:30
@article{fb45733a-3d0b-43ef-8de5-c1c0c6e8049c,
  abstract     = {<p>Birds, particularly raptors, are believed to forage primarily using visual cues. However, raptor foraging tactics are highly diverse – from chasing mobile prey to scavenging – which may reflect adaptations of their visual systems. To investigate this, we studied the visual field configuration of 15 species of diurnal Accipitriformes that differ in such tactics, first focusing on the binocular field and blind area by using a single-traits approach, and then exploring the shape of the binocular field with a morphometric approach. While the maximum binocular field width did not differ between species with different foraging tactics, the overall shape of their binocular fields did. In particular, raptors chasing terrestrial prey (ground predators) had a more protruding binocular field and a wider blind area above the head than did raptors chasing aerial or aquatic prey and obligate scavengers. Ground predators that forage on mammals from above have a wide but short bill – which increases ingestion rate – and a large suborbital ridge to avoid sun glare. This may explain the protruding binocular field and the wide blind area above the head. By contrast, species from the two other groups have long but narrow bills used to pluck, flake or tear food and may need large visual coverage (and reduced suborbital ridges) to increase their foraging efficiency (e.g. using large visual coverage to follow the escaping prey in three dimensions or detect conspecifics). We propose that binocular field shape is associated with bill and suborbital ridge shape and, ultimately, foraging strategies.</p>},
  articleno    = {jeb177295},
  author       = {Potier, Simon and Duriez, Olivier and Cunningham, Gregory B. and Bonhomme, Vincent and O’Rourke, Colleen and Fernández-Juricic, Esteban and Bonadonna, Francesco},
  issn         = {0022-0949},
  keyword      = {Accipitriformes,Bill,Binocular shape,Binocular vision,Morphometrics,Raptors},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {14},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Visual field shape and foraging ecology in diurnal raptors},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.177295},
  volume       = {221},
  year         = {2018},
}