Partitioning of diving effort in foraging trips of northern gannets

S Lewis, S Benvenuti, F Daunt, S Wanless, L Dall'Antonia, P Luschi, D A Elston, K C Hamer, T N Sherratt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Many species of seabirds are known to undertake foraging trips that vary in duration, lasting from a few hours up to several days. However, the important question of how individuals allocate their time during foraging trips of different durations has received relatively little attention until recently. Using activity loggers, we examined the foraging behavior of chick-rearing northern gannets, Morus bassanus (L., 1758), during trips of different durations, and tested predictions concerning how foraging activity varies across trips. There was no evidence of a relationship between dive frequency during the first 3 h of a trip and trip duration, suggesting that the decision to continue on a longer trip was not affected by an adult's initial rate of encounter with prey. Flight constituted approximately 50% of total trip time, and the dive rate of birds per daylight hour was apparently unaffected by trip duration. Birds dived at similar rates on the outward and return sections of their foraging trips, which suggests that they may have been "topping up" on food on their return. Overall our results suggest that, unlike other pelagic seabirds, northern gannets at the Bass Rock do not adjust their individual foraging strategies among trips of different durations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1910-1916
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian journal of zoology-Revue canadienne de zoologie
Volume82
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • INTRA-SPECIFIC COMPETITION
  • WANDERING ALBATROSSES
  • SATELLITE TRACKING
  • MORUS-BASSANUS
  • PELAGIC SEABIRD
  • SULA-BASSANA
  • CAPE GANNETS
  • STRATEGIES
  • ATLANTIC
  • BEHAVIOR

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