Polar Biology

, Volume 40, Issue 8, pp 1537–1544 | Cite as

Factors affecting plasma chemistry values of the black-browed albatross Thalassarche melanophrys

  • Miguel FerrerEmail author
  • Virginia Morandini
  • Lynelle Perry
  • Marc Bechard
Original Paper


Blood chemical reference values and variations in them in long-lived endangered birds are of metabolic, veterinary, ecological and/or taxonomic interest. In the present study, we for the first time provide such reference values and test the influence of sex, age, and nest location on up to 11 plasma values in nesting black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys) that we sampled in 2015 on the Falkland Islands. Our results showed that differences between sexes were not significant for any of the parameters for which we tested. We found insignificant differences in metabolically related parameters in nestlings being raised in the middle of nesting colonies and those being raised at the edges of the colonies indicating that nest location did not affect the nutritional status or health of young, developing albatrosses. Conversely, age had a significant effect on a number of metabolites, inorganic ions and enzymatic activity. In particular, age-related differences in glucose, triglyceride, urea, and uric acid suggested that the relative metabolic rate was higher in nestling than in adult albatrosses.


Age Seabirds Blood chemistry Nest location Metabolites Nutritional state 



Fundacion Migres supported the present study. We thank Micky Reeves, N. Huin, the Falkland Islands government, and David and Suzan Pole-Evans for their support of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Ferrer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Virginia Morandini
    • 1
  • Lynelle Perry
    • 2
  • Marc Bechard
    • 2
  1. 1.Applied Ecology GroupEstación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC)SevilleSpain
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, Raptor Research CenterBoise State UniversityBoiseUSA

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