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Sensitivity of breeding parameters to food supply in Black-legged Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla

Ibis

By:
, , and
DOI: 10.1046/j.1474-919X.2002.00043.x

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Abstract

We fed Herring Clupea pallasi to pairs of Black-legged Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla throughout the breeding season in two years at a colony in the northern Gulf of Alaska. We measured responses to supplemental feeding in a wide array of breeding parameters to gauge their relative sensitivity to food supply, and thus their potential as indicators of natural foraging conditions. Conventional measures of success (hatching, fledging and overall productivity) were more effective as indicators of food supply than behavioural attributes such as courtship feeding, chick provisioning rates and sibling aggression. However, behaviour such as nest relief during incubation and adult attendance with older chicks were also highly responsive to supplemental food and may be useful for monitoring environmental conditions in studies of shorter duration. On average, the chick-rearing stage contained more sensitive indicators of food availability than prelaying or incubation stages. Overall, rates of hatching and fledging success, and the mean duration of incubation shifts were the most food-sensitive parameters studied.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Sensitivity of breeding parameters to food supply in Black-legged Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla
Series title:
Ibis
DOI:
10.1046/j.1474-919X.2002.00043.x
Volume
144
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2002
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Ibis
First page:
268
Last page:
283