Recent studies have shown that pelagic seabirds with little breeding experience are wide ranging individuals exploring different foraging grounds and occupying generally more pelagic habitats than more experienced birds. This study compared the spatial dynamic of the year-round distribution and behaviour between two different population components: experienced (Exp; >2 years of successful breeding) and inexperienced (Inexp; ≤2 successful years) Cory’s shearwaters (Calonectris borealis) individuals from Berlenga Island, offshore the Portuguese coast. Our aim was to verify the occurrence of variations in the at-sea activity, foraging habitats and isotopic niches of Exp (N = 11) and Inexp (N = 11) individuals, during their breeding and non-breeding phases. Our results confirmed differences in the migratory routes and foraging grounds during the annual cycle between these two population components: Inexp birds exhibited a more pelagic behaviour than Exp birds, with extensive migratory routes, marked by several stopovers, and a higher number of non-breeding areas. Exp individuals migrated through shorter routes, and wintered in fewer locations. Exp individuals foraged on coastal, shallow and cold water areas and showed higher carbon and nitrogen isotopic values, while Inexp birds foraged more on pelagic, windy and frontal zones and exhibited lower carbon and nitrogen isotopic values. Our results suggest that experience plays a relevant role in explaining the spatial distribution and behaviour of pelagic seabirds such as Cory’s shearwaters. Future research with larger sample sizes should focus on comparing the behaviour of juvenile, immature, first-time breeders and breeders with increasing experience and age.
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
We would like to thank the Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e Florestas (ICNF) for their logistical support (lodging), especially the wardens of the Reserva Natural das Berlengas, Paulo Crisóstomo and Eduardo Mourato, for their companionship. We also thank Filipe Ceia and Lucas Krüger for help during fieldwork. GLS devices were financed by the EU INTERREG project FAME: The Future of the Atlantic Marine Environment and by former projects from Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé. R.M. acknowledges the study grant given by the EMMC-EMAE consortium and the European Commission. V.H.P. acknowledges the postdoctoral grants given by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT; SFRH/BPD/63825/2009 and SFRH/BPD/85024/2012). The experimental approach was conducted with permission from the Portuguese Government—‘Instituto de Conservação da Natureza e Florestas (ICNF)’—with permit No. 89/2011/CAPT. All methods used in this study comply with the Portuguese laws Nos. 140/99, 49/2005, 316/89 and 180/2008.
Catry P, Dias MP, Phillips RA, Granadeiro JP (2011) different means to the same end: long-distance migrant seabirds from two colonies differ in behaviour, despite common wintering grounds. PLoS One 6:e26079. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Catry P, Dias MP, Phillips RA, Granadeiro JP (2013) Carry-over effects from breeding modulate the annual cycle of a long-distance migrant: an experimental demonstration. Ecology 94:1230–1235CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dias MP, Granadeiro JP, Phillips RA et al (2011) Breaking the routine: individual Cory’s shearwaters shift winter destinations between hemispheres and across ocean basins. Proc R Soc B Biol Sci 278:1786–1793. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.2114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Froy H, Lewis S, Catry P et al (2015) Age-related variation in foraging behaviour in the wandering albatross at South Georgia: no evidence for senescence. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116415Google Scholar
Gonzalez-Solis J, Croxall JP, Oro D, Ruiz X (2007) Trans-equatorial migration and mixing in the wintering areas of a pelagic seabird. Front Ecol Environ 5:297–301. doi:10.1890/1540-9295(2007)5[297:TMAMIT]2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Grémillet D, Lewis S, Drapeau L (2008) Spatial match–mismatch in the Benguela upwelling zone: should we expect chlorophyll and sea-surface temperature to predict marine predator distributions? J Appl Ecol. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2007.01447.xGoogle Scholar
Haug FD, Paiva VH, Werner AC, Ramos JA (2015) Foraging by experienced and inexperienced Cory’s shearwater along a 3-year period of ameliorating foraging conditions. Mar Biol. doi:10.1007/s00227-015-2612-1Google Scholar
Longhurst AR (2010) Ecological geography of the sea. Academic Press, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
Louzao M, Delord K, Garcia D et al (2012) Protecting persistent dynamic oceanographic features: transboundary conservation efforts are needed for the critically endangered balearic shearwater. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035728Google Scholar
Mackley EK, Phillips RA, Silk J et al (2010) Free as a bird? Activity patterns of albatrosses during the nonbreeding period. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 406:291–303. doi:10.3354/meps08532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paiva VH, Geraldes P, Ramírez I et al (2010a) Oceanographic characteristics of areas used by Cory’s shearwaters during short and long foraging trips in the North Atlantic. Mar Biol 157:1385–1399. doi:10.1007/s00227-010-1417-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Paiva VH, Geraldes P, Ramírez I et al (2010b) Foraging plasticity in a pelagic seabird species along a marine productivity gradient. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 398:259–274. doi:10.3354/meps08319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pardo D, Barbraud C, Authier M, Weimerskirch H (2013) Evidence for an age-dependent influence of environmental variations on a long-lived seabird’s life-history traits. Ecology 94:208–220. doi:10.1890/12-0215.1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Quillfeldt P, McGill R, Furness RW (2005) Diet and foraging areas of Southern Ocean seabirds and their prey inferred from stable isotopes: review and case study of Wilson’s storm-petrel. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 295:295–304. doi:10.3354/meps295295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Quillfeldt P, Masello JF, Navarro J, Phillips RA (2013) Year-round distribution suggests spatial segregation of two small petrel species in the South Atlantic. J Biogeogr 40:430–441. doi:10.1111/jbi.12008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
R Core Team (2014) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria. http://www.R-project.org/
Verbruggen H, Tyberghein L, Belton GS et al (2013) Improving transferability of introduced species’ distribution models: new tools to forecast the spread of a highly invasive seaweed. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068337Google Scholar
Votier SC, Grecian WJ, Patrick S, Newton J (2010) Inter-colony movements, at-sea behaviour and foraging in an immature seabird: results from GPS-PPT tracking, radio-tracking and stable isotope analysis. Mar Biol 158:355–362. doi:10.1007/s00227-010-1563-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Warren DL, Seifert SN (2011) Ecological niche modeling in Maxent: the importance of model complexity and the performance of model selection criteria. Ecol Appl 21:335–342. doi:10.1890/10-1171.1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weimerskirch H, Gault A, Cherel Y (2005) Prey distribution and patchiness: factors in foraging success and efficiency of wandering albatrosses. Ecology 86:2611–2622. doi:10.1890/04-1866CrossRefGoogle Scholar