Sex-specific chick provisioning and diving behaviour in the wedge-tailed shearwater Puffinus pacificus

Peck, Darren R., and Congdon, Bradley C. (2006) Sex-specific chick provisioning and diving behaviour in the wedge-tailed shearwater Puffinus pacificus. Journal of Avian Biology, 37 (3). pp. 245-251.

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Mechanisms that drive sex-specific foraging behaviour in seabirds are not fully understood. In some cases, sexual-size dimorphism has been implicated. However, recent empirical work indicates that foraging behaviour may also differ between sexes of monomorphic seabird taxa. We simultaneously examined sex-specific differences in adult foraging behaviour, chick provisioning rates and maximum dive-depths in a monomorphic seabird, the wedge-tailed shearwater Puffinus pacificus. We found significant divergence between sexes. Mean foraging trip length was longer, provisioning rate lower and mean maximum dive-depth shallower in females. We found no evidence of divergence in foraging behaviour due to condition-dependant increases in self-provisioning by females, or differences in the nest attendance patterns of each sex. In addition, chick body condition did not influence meal mass or trip length differently in one or other sex. Consistent with results obtained for dimorphic species we suggest that inter-sexual competition at the foraging grounds provides the most parsimonious explanation for the sex-specific differences observed in this monomorphic species. Based on our findings we believe this possibility warrants further critical investigation.

Item ID: 4078
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1600-048X
Keywords: seabirds; foraging behaviour; Puffinus pacificus
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2009 22:46
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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