Chaplyhina, A.B., Yuzyk, D.I., Savynska, N.O. and † Hramma, V.M. 2022. Invertebrates in the diet of collared flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis) nestlings in transformed forest ecosystems of north-eastern Ukraine. Baltic Forestry 28(1): 37–49.

   The diet composition of collared flycatcher nestlings, Ficedula albicollis (Temminck 1815), in the transformed forests of northeastern Ukraine was investigated to present an argument for conservation management actions that could benefit the species. Food pellets were collected from nestlings in four study sites with differing levels of recreational disturbance over 10 breeding seasons. The invertebrates they contained were identified, divided into trophic groups and compared across sites. A total of 1,160 food pellets were collected, containing 3,253 invertebrates from 294 species. Insects comprised 83% of the prey, with the most abundant orders of Diptera, Coleoptera and Lepidoptera. The smallest diversity of prey species was found in samples from the most disturbed site. The qualitative composition of the prey items showed that zoophages were the most frequent trophic group encountered, followed by phytophages, saprophages, polyphages, and necrophages. However, the order of trophic group frequency varied between sites. Although collared flycatchers forage within a limited area, their diet is characterized by a wide diversity of prey, and they exploit all forest layers.

Keywords: collared flycatcher, diet, trophic links, zoophages, phytophages, saprophages, necrophages, polyphages