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A comparison of foraging behaviour in the North Sea by Black-legged Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla from an inland and a maritime colony

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Chris RedfernORCiD, Dr Richard BevanORCiD


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Capsule Black-legged Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla from an inland and a maritime colony in the North Sea had similar patterns of foraging behaviour, using coastal as well as distant offshore areas for foraging.Aims To compare the foraging behaviour of Black-legged Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla nesting at two contrasting colonies in the North Sea, a colony on one of the outermost Farne Islands and a unique inland colony on the Tyne Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne, and to test the hypothesis that foraging by birds from the inland colony would be in more-coastal waters compared to the island colony.Methods Global positioning system loggers were used to compare foraging strategies of birds from the two sites. Foraging locations were inferred from analysis of movement patterns from fine-scale positional data.Results The characteristics of foraging trips were similar for birds from both sites, with trips lasting up to 17.6 hours and covering distances of 6.2-370.6km. Behaviour during the trips was partitioned into direct flight, not-foraging behaviour and foraging behaviour. Contrary to expectation and despite the 72km distance between colonies, there was some overlap in foraging locations of the tagged birds from each colony. Furthermore, the foraging locations included coastal waters and areas over 100km from land.Conclusion These data suggest that factors other than proximity to foraging areas may be more important for inland-nesting Kittiwakes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bevan RM; Redfern CPF

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Bird Study

Year: 2014

Volume: 61

Issue: 1

Pages: 17-28

Print publication date: 17/01/2014

ISSN (print): 0006-3657

ISSN (electronic): 1944-6705

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/00063657.2013.874977


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