Multidecadal comparison of Red-footed Booby Sula sula diet at Ulupa'u Crater, O'ahu, Hawai'i

Marine Onithology
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Abstract

We describe the diet of Red-footed Boobies Sula sula nesting at Ulupaʻu Crater, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi based on 106 regurgitations collected during 2014 and 2015. We also compare our results to a diet study at this colony five decades earlier. Both studies indicate that flying squid (Ommastrephidae) and flyingfish (Exocoetidae) are important prey for this population while provisioning chicks. In particular, purpleback flying squid Sthenoteuthis oualaniensis occurred in the majority (>70%) of the recent regurgitation samples, and their size (mantle length <11 cm) indicates that they were mostly juveniles. Moreover, the size distribution of the squid prey varied by year, indicating interannual variability in phenology of spawning and larval development. This study highlights the Red-footed Boobys reliance on the juveniles of this poorly-studied squid, and underscores their value as biological samplers of epipelagic fish and squid within their foraging areas.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Multidecadal comparison of Red-footed Booby Sula sula diet at Ulupa'u Crater, O'ahu, Hawai'i
Series title Marine Onithology
Volume 49
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Pacific Seabird Group
Contributing office(s) Western Ecological Research Center
Description 5 p.
First page 51
Last page 55
Country United States
State Hawaii
Other Geospatial Ulupa'u Crater
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