chapter  10
34 Pages

Heavy Metals in Fish, Lower Trophic Levels, and Passerine Birds

The coastal birds discussed in this book divide their time between land for nesting, water for feeding, and air for migrating. As a group they are predators, feeding on a wide range of invertebrates and fish, and even preying on the eggs and young of other species. Shorebirds, Clapper Rails, and Glossy Ibis feed mainly on invertebrates. Terns are piscivorous, feeding mainly on fish. Gulls, egrets, and Night-Herons are more versatile predators. They switch prey, depending on the environment and the availability of prey. All organisms in an ecosystem are part of a complicated food web, either producing food (plants) or consuming other organisms. Some organisms, however, are more critical than others as prey for coastal birds.