Extrinsic and intrinsic determinants of winter foragingand breeding phenology in a temperate seabird

European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) Science Article 2


In temperate regions, winter presents animals with a number of challenges including depressed food abundance, increased daily energy requirements, higher frequency of extreme weather events and shortened day length. Overcoming these constraints is critical for overwintering survival and scheduling of future breeding of long-lived species and is likely to be state dependent, associated with intrinsic abilities such as food acquisition rates. We examined the relationship between environmental and intrinsic factors on overwintering foraging and subsequent breeding phenology of the European shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis, a diurnal marine predator. We tested a range of hypotheses relating to overwintering foraging time and location. We found that individuals greatly increased their foraging time in winter to a peak of more than 90% of available daylight at the winter solstice.

F. Daunt.V. Afanasyev . J. R. D. Silk . S. Wanless, Behav Ecol Sociobiol (2006) 59: 381-388

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