North American Prairie Conference


Date of this Version



Published in Prairie Pioneers: Ecology, History and Culture: Proceedings of the Eleventh North American Prairie Conference, August 7-11, 1988, Lincoln, Nebraska (Lincoln, NE 1989).


Previous observations in riparian habitats of Kings Creek, Konza Prairie Research Natural Area, Kansas indicated that emerging aquatic insects represent a concentrated source of food for insectivorous birds, particularly the flycatcher and gleaner guilds. This hypothesis was tested by concurrent measurements of net insect emergence (total emergence minus adults returning to the stream) and densities of birds at six sampling sites from June to August 1987 and May to June 1988. Significant positive correlations with emergence were found for flycatchers (r = 0.93) and gleaners (r = 0.91), the two insectivore guilds containing the majority of individuals along Kings Creek. Observations also showed that flycatcher and gleaner populations rapidly respond to temporal changes in insect emergence.