Editor´s Choice - Impressive seabird foraging studies
Submitted by avianbiology on 14 July 2014.
Rapid advances are now being made in the knowledge of the amazing foraging journeys undertaken also by the smallest pelagic seabirds, thanks to the use of miniaturized geolocators (light loggers). Two impressive studies are published in this issue of the Journal of Avian Biology, one from each of the two Hemispheres: How Leach’s storm-petrels move in the North Atlantic Ocean off breeding colonies at Nova Scotia in Canada (Pollet et al.) and how thin-billed prions move in the South Atlantic off breeding colonies at Falkland Islands (Quillfeldt et al.). Adding complementary methods like stable isotope analysis (storm-petrel) or salt-water immersion recording (prion) makes it possible to associate the geographic movement/distribution data with diet characteristics and timing of foraging and burrow attendance. The two studies reveal striking colony- and sex-specific patterns in the spatial and temporal movement dynamics, with flexibility in distributions or foraging trip durations between years. It is indeed fascinating to see how the new techniques are elegantly and skilfully applied in different study systems, revealing new adaptive dimensions of the seabirds’ wide ranging movements.
Thomas Alerstam, Editor in Chief
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