ABSTRACT

Termites are a protein-rich yet unpredictable and ephemeral food source known to attract a diversity of reptiles, mammals, and birds. Here we provide the first observation of birds feeding on an explosion of winged termites swarming through the canopy in Western Amazonia in Peru. During this observation made from the canopy, at least 11 canopy-dwelling bird species were observed, and this is the first record of all observed species participating in such an event. By understanding the combination of factors that trigger termite swarms and their opportunistic use by canopy birds, we might better predict how the changing environment will affect these events and availability to birds and other wildlife as a valuable protein source.

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