Dietary changes and poor reproductive performance in Glaucous-winged Gulls

The Auk
By: , and 



The breeding phenology of Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens) on Squab Island, Aialik Bay, Alaska in 1979 was identical to that in 1980, but clutch sizes and later reproductive performance differed markedly. In 1979, clutch sizes were small, but chick growth rates and survivorship were high. In contrast, clutch sizes were large in 1980, but chick growth rates were slow, and chick survivorship was extremely low. The different patterns of reproductive success appear to be related primarily to annual differences in foods utilized by adults. When adults fed primarily on blue mussels (Mytilus edulis), reproductive performance suffered, i.e. at the time of egg laying in 1979 and during the chick period in 1980. A switch to mussels from other prey types thus probably indicates a lack of availability of more suitable or preferred foods. Reproductive success at this colony appears to be strongly food limited; the timing of such limitation is not confined to a particular stage of reproduction.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Dietary changes and poor reproductive performance in Glaucous-winged Gulls
Series title The Auk
Volume 101
Issue 3
Year Published 1984
Language English
Publisher American Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 532
Last page 541
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Aialik Bay, Squab Island
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