The three most common passerine birds in alpine habitats on the Hardangervidda plateau, South Norway, are the Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis, the Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe, and the Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis. Analyses of stomach content showed that invertebrates are the main food of these species, but the
Wheatear and the Snow Bunting also eat Empetrum berries, and the Snow Bunting becomes a seed eater in October when snow has arrived and the two other species have left the area. Seasonal changes in diet were related to phenological changes in the availability of food items. Adult Tipulidae were for instance taken by all species during the swarming period in July. Overlap in food choice was considered medium for all three species combinations. The Snow Bunting overlapped only slightly with the two other species in altitudinal distribution, habitat choice and territory. However, the Meadow Pipit and the Wheatear overlapped strongly in these parameters. Since their reproduction was successful, we assume that these two species can live together
with strongly overlapping niches due to a surplus of available invertebrate food. All three species are able to change their food choice rapidly and are thus well adapted to manage unpredictable conditions in a harsh, high altitude ecosystem.
Articles published prior to September 2020 are subject to the following terms: https://boap.uib.no/index.php/ornis/copyright
Articles submitted from September 2020 are subject to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0 that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.