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Winter Diet of Atlantic Puffins (Fratercula arctica) in the Northeast Atlantic

Knud Falk, Jens-Kjeld Jensen and Kaj Kampp
Colonial Waterbirds
Vol. 15, No. 2 (1992), pp. 230-235
Published by: Waterbird Society
DOI: 10.2307/1521457
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1521457
Page Count: 6
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Winter Diet of Atlantic Puffins (Fratercula arctica) in the Northeast Atlantic
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Abstract

Stomach contents were analyzed from Atlantic Puffins (Fratercula arctica) killed during winter near the Faroe Islands, Denmark (N = 25), or in the Norwegian Sea 296-740 km to the north (N = 11). The diet of the birds in the two areas were strikingly different. Offshore, puffins fed almost exclusively on the Glacier Lantern Fish (Benthosema glaciale) and on squid (Gonatus fabricii). In shelf waters around the Faroes, the diet was dominated by euphausiid crustaceans (mainly Thysanoessa inermis) and a variety of fish species (Ammodytes sp., Mallotus villosus, and others). Polychaete worms were present in small numbers in both samples. The results confirm that invertebrates may play a significant role in the diet of adult puffins; however, a rough estimate indicated that on a mass basis, fish (ranging in length from 4 to 14 cm) were the most important prey type in both the samples examined.

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