The search phase of foraging refers to movements or strategic waiting that increases an animal’s chances of finding food, and search time is the interval between the onset of those activities and prey capture.
In ethological terms, searching is a part of the appetitive phase of a motivated behavior, such as seeking food, water, or a mate. With regard to predatory behavior, searching may involve active, directed movement within areas where prey have previously been encountered, waiting in ambush for prey, or increased movement within the predator’s home range where prey may be present. Both endogenous (hunger) and exogenous (movement, sound) cues can elicit search behavior. Once a food item or source has been secured, the predator engages in handling and ingestion responses (consummatory responses in ethological terms).
The time spent searching for prey represents a cost to the forager in terms of energy spent, time away from other survival and fitness...