Vigilance and feeding behaviour in large feeding flocks of laughing gulls, Larus atricilla, on Delaware Bay

Joanna Burger, Michael Gochfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Laughing gulls (Larus atricilla) forage on horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) eggs during May in Delaware Bay each year. They feed in dense flocks, and foraging rates vary with vigilance, bird density, number of steps and location in the flock, whereas time devoted to vigilance is explained by number of steps, density, location and feeding rates. The time devoted to vigilance decreases with increasing density, increasing foraging rates and decreasing aggression. Birds foraging on the edge of flocks take fewer pecks and more steps, and devote more time to vigilance than those in the intermediate or central parts of a flock.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography

Keywords

  • New Jersey
  • birds
  • feeding
  • horseshoe crab
  • intertidal
  • laughing gull
  • vigilance

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