SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

The Madagascar Paradise Flycatcher Terpsiphone mutata and Common Newtonia Newtonia brunneicauda frequently form two-species flocks in the deciduous dry forest of western Madagascar. In T. mutata, some males have long tails, while other males and females have short tails. When foraging in mixed flocks, each type of bird captured prey more rapidly than otherwise, but the degree of increase in feeding rate was smaller in long-tailed males. When in mixed flocks, all T. mutata caught prey on leaves in the canopy where N.brunneicauda foraged. Long-tailed males changed feeding habits from sallying when not in mixed flocks, whereas short-tailed birds showed no change of feeding habit. The elongated tails of long-tailed males may have made their foraging less efficient owing to decreased agility in the canopy. N. brunneicauda is monomorphic and often formed groups of three to five individuals. In monospecific flocks, subordinates fed at low rates on branches owing to frequent hostile encounters. When foraging in mixed flocks, however, subordinates foraged among leaves, and their feeding rates increased because the frequency of intraspecific interference decreased greatly. Dominants did not show any difference in feeding pattern with social situation. Thus, heterospecific flocking was more advantageous for subordinates.