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The Food, Feeding, and Development of Young Tufted and Horned Puffins in Alaska

D. H. S. Wehle
The Condor
Vol. 85, No. 4 (Nov., 1983), pp. 427-442
DOI: 10.2307/1367981
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1367981
Page Count: 16
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The Food, Feeding, and Development of Young Tufted and Horned Puffins in Alaska
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Abstract

Aspects of nestling Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) and Horned Puffin (F. corniculata) feeding ecology, growth rate, and fledging success were studied on Buldir Island, Alaska, in 1975 and on Ugaiushak Island, Alaska, in 1976 and 1977. Growth rates were measured for single wild chicks given supplemental food, single chicks raised in captivity and fed ad libitum, and for artifically twinned chicks with and without supplemental food and for twinned chicks raised in captivity. Data from these colonies and years (colony years) were compared with those from other colony years for these species and for Atlantic Puffins (F. arctica). For most aspects of nestling feeding ecology that have been measured, available data are too variable (seasonally, annually, or geographically) to give a reliable correlation with feeding conditions. Growth rates equal to 1.5% of adult body weight/day or less were associated with poor feeding conditions while growth rates of 2.5% or more represented optimum feeding conditions. Nestling growth rates currently provide the best means of assessing feeding conditions. The implications of puffins' ability to raise two chicks, rather than their normal clutch of one, are also discussed.

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