Duration of ship-following by kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla in the Barents Sea

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Erikstad, Kjell Einar ; Bustnes, Jan Ove ; Jacobsen, Odd (1988)

Ship-following Kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla were caught and dye-marked with picric acid on three occasions from a ship trawling in the Barents Sea in August 1986. The ship trawled regularly every 20-30 nautical miles and most of the trawl contents were fed to the birds accompanying the ship. Kittiwakes followed the ship for an average of 480-591 min. Between trawl-stations the birds rested on lifeboats and on the rail of the ship, and resting birds showed aggressive behaviour towards neighbours and intruders. The mean departure rate ranged from 4.2 to 5.1% per hour, and the turnover rate was 32 hours. It is obvious that the Kittiwakes behaved opportunistically and had adapted to exploit the waste from the commercial fisheries in the area.
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