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Distance from the forest edge matters in habitat selection of the Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii


The relationships between breeding site location in forest habitat and age, behaviour and reproductive performance of Blue-footed Boobies Sula nebouxii were examined in two different plots on the northeast corner of Isla Isabel, Mexico. Birds nesting closer to the forest edge, where nest density is highest, laid their clutches earlier and fledged more chicks. In plot A, proximity to the forest edge was associated with more wakefulness and wing drooping in chicks and more interactions with other species in female breeders. In plot B, ages of breeders increased closer to the forest edge. The patterns of nest density, laying date and age distribution suggest that, on the northeast corner of Isla Isabel, the boobies prefer to nest close to the forest edge, possibly because the benefits, including easy landing and take-off, are greater than the costs associated with inclement weather, high density of conspecifics and allospecifics, and negative social interactions.

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We thank to two anonymous reviewers and Peter H. Becker for very helpful comments on the manuscript. We are very grateful to Rene Beamonte, Cristina Carmona, Fabrice Dentressangle, Myrna Hernández, Natalia Lifshitz, Beatriz Peña, Cristina Rodriguez, Oscar Sánchez, Jaime Villareal and Emma Villaseñor who provided help in fieldwork. We also thank many fishermen and the Mexican navy for friendship and the logistical efforts. S.-Y. Kim was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and by the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología (CGL2006-10357-C02-01/BOS). The investigation we performed did not involve any licensed procedures and complied with the current laws of Mexico.

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Correspondence to Sin-Yeon Kim.

Additional information

Communicated by P.H. Becker.

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Montes-Medina, A.C., Drummond, H. & Kim, S. Distance from the forest edge matters in habitat selection of the Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii . J Ornithol 150, 845–852 (2009).

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  • Behaviour
  • Habitat selection
  • Nest location
  • Sula nebouxii