The foraging behaviour and energetics of wandering albatrosses brooding chicks

The energy expenditure of ten (five male, five female) wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans Linnaeus 1758) brooding chicks on Bird Island, South Georgia, was measured using doubly-labelled water. At-sea foraging behaviour was measured in the same individuals using satellite telemetry and leg-mounted activity recorders. Mean mass-specific daily energy expenditure was 341 kJ kg−1 day−1 during a mean of 4.12 days at sea and did not differ between the sexes. This is significantly lower than previously reported for the species and the lowest recorded for any albatross. There were no significant relationships between energy expenditure and the proportion of time spent flying (59.7%), distance flown (1448 km) or average speed (16.5 km h−1) suggesting that flying is not the most energetically expensive activity during foraging trips


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Authors: Arnould, J.P.Y, Briggs, D.R., Croxall, J.P., Prince, P.A., Wood, A.G.

1 September, 1996
Antarctic Science / 8
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