Recent work on the development of feeding skills by young birds has highlighted the fact that many are less successful than adults at capturing prey (e.g. Orians 1969; Buckley & Buckley 1974). Young Oystercatchers Haematopus ostralegus, for example, take three years to become fully efficient (Norton-Griffiths 1968). Many raptors, in particular, require considerable hunting skill in the face of

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