I'm not much of an ornithologist but I know enough to distinguish most Central European birds of prey. To me it is amazing that there are so many species that seem to occupy the same niche. Especially the two native kite species (Milvus milvus and Milvus migrans) and the common buzzard (Buteo buteo) are -- to my impression -- quite similar in terms of size, preferred prey, habitat etc. According to the competetive exclusion principle, these species would not coexist if they would exploit the exact same set of resources. So my question is:

What are the major differences between the mentioned species that allow coexistence? Are there more such examples from other geographical regions?

  • $\begingroup$ Note that competitive exclusion states that the species should differ at least according to one axis of their ecological niche. Meaning that if their niche totally overlap in terms of source of food, it doesn't that they necessarily can't coexist theoretically speaking. I might be wrong though! $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Oct 23 '14 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ No, you're right. I'm just asking for the axes that differ. $\endgroup$ – Hav0k Oct 24 '14 at 7:26

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