Foraging ecology of Naja nivea and Dispholidus typus
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It is widely reported that snakes can be major predators of avian nests, but the use of a single avian prey type by competing species has rarely been examined. This study aimed to investigate predation of a single food resource by the sympatric snakes Naja nivea and Dispholidus typus. Specifically, I aimed to 1) identify factors influencing snake presence in sociable weaver colonies and 2) quantify snake predation and potential differences in the consumption of prey by the two competing snakes. I used repeated visual surveys of sociable weavers to obtain presence-absence data of cape cobra and boomslang in sociable weaver colonies over an entire breeding season. I related the presence-absence data of the two snake species to spatially- and temporally-variable factors using principal component analyses (PCA) and multiple logistic regression analyses. The presence of snakes in sociable weaver colonies is primarily influenced by temporal factors, but spatial factors also play a role.