Foraging ecology as related to the distribution of planktivorous auklets in the Bering Sea
We review recent accounts of the foraging ecologies of five species of small auklets found in the Bering Sea. These birds eat a wide variety of zooplankton and micronekton. Least Auklets Aethia pusilla and Whiskered Auklets A. pygmaea, as far as is known, primarily eat copepods, whereas Created Auklets A. cristatella appear to specialize on euphausiids, at least during the breeding season. The diet of Parakeet Auklets Cyclorrhynchus psittacula is much broader than that of most other Aethia species, and includes many gelatinous species and their commensals. Little is known of the diet of Cassin's Auklet Ptychoramphus aleuticus in the Bering Sea, although elsewhere they take large copepods, euphausiids, and larval fish.
There are considerable differences in the at-sea distributions and foraging behaviors of these five species of auklet. Least Auklets in the norhtern Bering Sea concentrate their foraging activities over strongly stratified water and near fronts where pycnoclines may approach the surface. In the Aleutian Islands, Least Auklets forage where oceanic and tidal currents strike the shelf between the islands and rise toward the surface carrying plankton. Least Auklets and Crested Auklets are often found in large flocks, whereas Parakeet Auklets are rarely found in groups of more than three birds and are usually widely dispersed. The few at-sea observations of Whiskered Auklets have been of small flocks in turbulent waters of island passes. We relate prey types taken, foraging dispersion, and the use of hydrographic features by these auklet species.
|Publication type||Conference Paper|
|Publication Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Title||Foraging ecology as related to the distribution of planktivorous auklets in the Bering Sea|
|Publisher||Canadian Wildlife Service|
|Publisher location||Ottawa, CA|
|Contributing office(s)||Alaska Science Center|
|Larger Work Type||Conference Paper|
|Larger Work Subtype||Conference Paper|
|Larger Work Title||The status, ecology and conservation of marine birds of the North Pacific|
|Conference Title||The status, ecology and conservation of marine birds of the North Pacific: A symposium sponsored by the Pacific Seabird Group, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks|
|Conference Location||Victoria, BC|
|Conference Date||February 22-23, 1990|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|