Document Detail


Patterns of GPS tracks suggest nocturnal foraging by incubating Peruvian pelicans (Pelecanus thagus).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21647444     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Most seabirds are diurnal foragers, but some species may also feed at night. In Peruvian pelicans (Pelecanus thagus), the evidence for nocturnal foraging is sparse and anecdotal. We used GPS-dataloggers on five incubating Peruvian pelicans from Isla Lobos de Tierra, Perú, to examine their nocturnality, foraging movements and activities patterns at sea. All instrumented pelicans undertook nocturnal trips during a 5-7 day tracking period. Eighty-seven percent of these trips (n = 13) were strictly nocturnal, whereas the remaining occurred during the day and night. Most birds departed from the island after sunset and returned a few hours after sunrise. Birds traveled south of the island for single-day trips at a maximum range of 82.8 km. Overall, 22% of the tracking period was spent at sea, whereas the remaining time was spent on the island. In the intermediate section of the trip (between inbound and outbound commutes), birds spent 77% of the trip time in floating bouts interspersed by short flying bouts, the former being on average three times longer than the latter. Taken together, the high sinuosity of the bird's tracks during floating bouts, the exclusively nocturnal trips of most individuals, and the fact that all birds returned to the island within a few hours after sunrise suggest that pelicans were actively feeding at night. The nocturnal foraging strategy of Peruvian pelicans may reduce food competition with the sympatric and strictly diurnal Guanay cormorants (Phalacrocorax bougainvillii), Peruvian boobies (Sula variegata) and Blue-footed boobies (S. nebouxii), which were present on the island in large numbers. Likewise, plankton bioluminescence might be used by pelicans as indirect cues to locate anchovies during their upward migration at night. The foraging success of pelicans at night may be enhanced by seizing prey close to the sea surface using a sit-and-wait strategy.
Authors:
Carlos B Zavalaga; Giacomo Dell'Omo; Paolo Becciu; Ken Yoda
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2011-05-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  PloS one     Volume:  6     ISSN:  1932-6203     ISO Abbreviation:  PLoS ONE     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-06-07     Completed Date:  2011-09-22     Revised Date:  2013-06-28    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101285081     Medline TA:  PLoS One     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  e19966     Citation Subset:  IM    
Affiliation:
Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan. cbz3724@alum.uncw.edu
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MeSH Terms
Descriptor/Qualifier:
Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
Animals
Behavior, Animal / physiology*
Birds / physiology*
Circadian Rhythm*
Geographic Information Systems*
Movement / physiology*
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