Winter diets of four seabird species in the Barents Sea after a crash in the capelin stock
- Norwegian Institute of Nature Research, Tromsø Museum, University of Tromsø, N-9000, Tromsø, Norway
I describe the winter diets (early March) of four seabird species, black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus) and Brüinnich's guillemot (Uria lomvia) collected in the south eastern Barents Sea, in open water approximately 70 km from the ice edge. All species preyed heavily on commercial fish species such as cod (Gadus morrhua), polar cod (Boreogadus saida) and redfish (Sebastes marinus/S. mentella). The median total length of fish eaten ranged from 51 mm in fulmars to 88 mm in Brünnich's guillemots and differed significantly among all species pairs except kittiwake and glaucous gull. Although the size of fish eaten differed among the four bird species they all fed upon much the same age categories of fish. Cod and redfish eaten were almost exclusively one year old, whereas polar cod was 1–4 years old. Other important food items were crustaceans (B $\ddot r$ unnich's guillemots), and squid Gonatus sp. (fulmars); the glaucous gull also preyed on other birds. Body weights and amounts of stored fat suggest that individuals of all species except Brüinnich's guillemots were in good physical condition. The diets described here differed substantially from those of birds caught mainly during the prelaying season near the colonies in this area. Some of these differences may be attributed to the very low density of capelin (Mallotus villosus) when this study was conducted.
- 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
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- 4 - ecologie animale, vegetale et microbienne
- 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - General Agricultural and Biological Sciences