[CT Birds] Cormorants and Eagles
dennisvz at optonline.net
Tue Feb 23 18:13:30 EST 2010
I had been thinking about the eagles and cormorants the other day
and it occurred to me that this is an example of intra-guild predation.
In Ecology a group of organisms that feed (roughly) on the same
organisms and are normally considered competitors are called a
guild, In this case these are fish eating birds. When one of the
competitors also starts eating its competitors it distinctly shifts
the balance of dominance between the species and affect community
organization. As I recall the first time I heard about it was a study
on Scorpions, but it is more general than one would think. Another
example off the top of my head is Great Horned Owls and Screech Owls.
In this particular case I would expect to see the cormorants changing
their behavior and distribution after a while as they catch on to the
danger. What would be really interesting is to see how this is
affecting the fish populations.
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