Parental care behaviors often differ in dimorphic seabirds, leading to sex-specific differences in foraging behaviors. However, few studies have examined sex-specific foraging behaviors in monomorphic seabirds. Using radio-telemetry, we studied Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) - a monomorphic and socially monogamous seabird - breeding in the South San Francisco Bay, California. Space use did not differ between males and females. Instead, space use varied by breeding stage and colony affiliation. Forster's Terns were located farthest from the nest during pre-breeding and post-breeding time periods, and closest to the nest during incubation and chick-rearing. Home-range size and core-use areas decreased as the breeding season progressed and were most concentrated in the post-breeding stage. The results of this and other studies indicate that tems, unlike other monomorphic seabirds studied, do not exhibit sex-specific differences in space use.
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Space use by Forster's Terns breeding in South San Francisco Bay