Food of three upland game birds in Selengei Area, Kajiado District, Kenya

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Summary

Foods taken by yellow-necked spurfowl, crested francolin and helmeted guinea-fowl were investigated over a 22-month period. Bulblets of sedge (Cyperus sp.) were the major plant item in the diet of all three species. Other foods were seeds and fruits of forbs, florets and fruits of grasses, leaves of forbs and grasses and insects. Insect use increased following the rains, as did the use of florets of the grasses.

Except for Cyperus sp. there was little overlap of food items taken by the crested francolin and the guinea-fowl, but both were in competition with the yellow-necked spurfowl for some species of plants. This was probably due to size of food items, that is, there was a direct relationship between size of bird and size of foods taken. Forag ing habits also influence food intake.

Ancillary