Preliminary results on the foraging ecology of Balearic shearwaters (Puffinus mauretanicus) from bird-borne data loggers
Keywords:foraging, diving behaviour, breeding biology, Balearic shearwater, Puffinus mauretanicus, data logger
A data logger devised and manufactured by our research team in order to study the homing routes of carrier pigeons was subsequently modified to study the homing behaviour and foraging strategies of breeding marine birds. Recent versions of the data logger, equipped with a flight sensor and depth meter or saltwater switch, were used in a study of the foraging strategies of chick-rearing Balearic shearwaters (Puffinus mauretanicus) in the framework of the project LIFE-Puffinus financed by the Balearic Government and the EU. Due to low recapture rates (only 3 out of 6 tagged birds were recovered), only preliminary data from a small sample are available. Data loggers have recorded data on the pattern of nest attendance (including departure time to foraging trips and return time) and the diurnal pattern of flight and dive activity (including depth and duration of dives). Despite the small sample size, the results show that our data loggers can successfully be applied to the study of the breeding biology and foraging ecology-including the diving pattern-of Balearic shearwaters and similar species.
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