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Fall colony attendance and breeding success in the common murre
Harris M.P., & Wanless, S. (1989) The Condor 91(1):139-146
The visit of Common Murres (Uria aalge) to breeding sites were documented in each October 1982-1987. Individually-marked birds almost invariably returned to their own breeding sites. There was no evidence that immatures, or adults from other colonies, visited the colony. The most frequently occupied sites were those which had been successful the previous season. The numbers of visits to sites increased with increasing numbers of neighbors and were higher for sites in the center of the cliff than for sites at the top and bottom. Blocking sites for 4 months did not prevent birds breeding in the next season. Fall colony visiting could be explained by (a) competition for the best sites, or (b) birds returning to maintain the pair bond.

Keywords: Common Murre, Uria aalge, competition for breeding sites, breeding success, density, position in colony, pair bond


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  • Autumn attendance of Common Guillemots on Lundy in 2008 Common Guillemots disperse to sea after breeding where they become flightless during their pre-basic moult (Birkhead & Taylor 1977). Breeding birds at the south of their European range make brief visits to their breeding ledges from October onwards (Harris & Wanless 1990). Autumn records on Lundy are sparse, and some reports do not record whether birds were seen at sea or on land. This survey found Guillemots on ledges at Jenny's Cove on 27th October 2008, 11 days earlier than previous records (Davis & Jones 2007).

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