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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 105296, 7 pages
Research Article

The Relationships between Morphological Characteristics and Foraging Behavior in Four Selected Species of Shorebirds and Water Birds Utilizing Tropical Mudflats

Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 26 May 2015; Revised 28 July 2015; Accepted 29 July 2015

Academic Editor: Antonio J. Piantino Ferreira

Copyright © 2015 Nor Atiqah Norazlimi and Rosli Ramli. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A study was conducted to investigate the relationship between the physical morphology of shorebirds and water birds (i.e., Lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), Common redshank (Tringa totanus), Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus), and Little heron (Butorides striata)) and their foraging behavior in the mudflats area of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, from August 2013 to July 2014 by using direct observation techniques (using binoculars and a video recorder). The actively foraging bird species were watched, and their foraging activities were recorded for at least 30 seconds for up to a maximum of five minutes. A Spearman Rank Correlation highlighted a significant relationship between bill size and foraging time (, ), bill size and prey size (, ), bill size and probing depth (, ), and leg length and water/mud depth (, ). A Kruskal-Wallis Analysis showed a significant difference between average estimates of real probing depth of the birds (mm) and species (, ). Three foraging techniques were recorded: pause-travel, visual-feeding, and tactile-hunting. Thus, morphological characteristics of bird do influence their foraging behavior and strategies used when foraging.