Small, rare and wide-ranging pelagic birds are difficult to locate and observe at sea; little is therefore known regarding individual movements and habitat affinities among many of the world's storm-petrels (Family Hydrobatidae). We re-located 57 of 70 radio-marked Ashy Storm-Petrels Oceanodroma homochroa captured at three colonies in the California Channel Islands: Scorpion Rocks (2004, 2005), Santa Barbara Island (2004) and Prince Island (2005). Between 23 July and 22 September 2004, and 5 July and 4 August 2005, we flew 29 telemetry surveys, covered more than 65 000 km2 (2004) and 43 000 km2 (2005) of open ocean from San Nicolas Island north to the Farallon Islands and obtained 215 locations from 57 storm-petrels at sea. In both years, radio-marked storm-petrels were aggregated over the continental slope from Point Conception to Point Buchon, within the western Santa Barbara Channel, and over the Santa Cruz Basin between Santa Cruz, San Nicolas and Santa Barbara islands. Individuals captured in the Channel Islands ranged more than 600 km and were located as far north as Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. This is the first study to use radiotelemetry to determine the at-sea distribution and movements for any storm-petrel species.
Additional publication details
At-sea distribution of radio-marked Ashy Storm-Petrels Oceanodroma homochroa captured on the California Channel Islands