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Crustaceans in the diet of adult common and Brunnich's guillemots Uria aalge and U. lomvia in the Barents Sea during the breeding period
Mehlum, F., (2001) Marine Ornithology 29:19-22
The diet of adult Common and Brünnich’s Guillemots Uria aalge and U. lomvia during the breeding season was studied from birds collected at sea near Bear Island in the central Barents Sea. In both species the euphausiid Thysanoessa inermis was the predominant prey. Euphausiids have not previously been reported as a major component of the diet of adult Common Guillemots in the Atlantic. Previous studies at the colonies of Bear Island have shown that fish, mostly Capelin Mallotus villosus, are the main prey fed to chicks. Optimal foraging theory predicts that guillemots, as single-prey loaders foraging out at sea, was maximise the rate of energy provided to the chicks by selecting large and high-quality prey such as Capelin. I argue that self-feeding on euphausiids in years with low fish abundance may be an important strategy for guillemots in regions where the availability of schooling fishes fluctuates unpredictably.

Keywords: Common Guillemot, Uria aalge, Brünnich’s Guillemot, Uria lomvia, murres, Barents Sea, diet, Capelin, euphausiids


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