Radiotracking transmitters were fitted to White-tailed Tropicbirds nesting at Culebra, Puerto Rico. Foragers were located by light aircraft out to 89 km SSW of the nesting colony, over a deep-water foraging area south of Vieques Island, Puerto Rico and west of St Croix, U. S. Virgin Islands. Two birds were followed out to 176 km NNW from the colony, over the Puerto Rico Trench, but these did not subsequently return. Foragers carrying radio transmitters performed similarly to those without, in terms of duration of absence from the colony, and mass of food brought for the chick. However, measuremetns of energy consumption by the doubly labelled water method indicated that birds with transmitters consumed significantly more energy than those without.
Additional publication details
Foraging flights of the white-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus): Radiotracking and doubly-labelled water