Return to the Isle of Puffins
Riding the tide: intriguing observations of gulls resting at sea during breeding
Shamoun-Baranes, J., Bouten, W., Camphuysen, C.J. & Baaij, E. (2011) Ibis 153(2):411415
Adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus were followed during the breeding season using a high-resolution GPS tracking system. Little is known about the foraging movements of these birds and what they do when they are away from the colony. The study revealed intriguing yet infrequent behavioural patterns showing that birds would sit on the sea surface drifting passively with the tidal current for several hours, resting at sea rather than in the breeding colony. The potential function of the observed patterns is discussed as well as the relevance of these observations to other species.

Keywords: drift; GPS tracking; Larus fuscus; resting at sea; tidal current


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