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Size Variables in Puffins Fratercula arctica from Iceland, and Bill Features as Criteria of Age

Aevar Petersen
Ornis Scandinavica (Scandinavian Journal of Ornithology)
Vol. 7, No. 2 (Nov. 15, 1976), pp. 185-192
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Nordic Society Oikos
DOI: 10.2307/3676188
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3676188
Page Count: 8
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Size Variables in Puffins Fratercula arctica from Iceland, and Bill Features as Criteria of Age
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Abstract

Size variables in Puffins Fratercula arctica (family Alcidae) from two Icelandic colonies, one in the North and one in the South, were examined. In general, male Puffins were larger than females. A marked size difference was shown between Puffins from the two colonies, birds from North Iceland being larger. A comparison of size was made between Faeroese Puffins (subspecies grabae) and Puffins from South Iceland (subspecies arctica). Differences between birds from these two populations were smaller than those found between Puffins from South and North Iceland. This contradicts the conventional thinking that all Icelandic Puffins belong to the same subspecies. Some discussion is devoted to nomenclature difficulties in Fratercula arctica. For the first time bill features have been proved to be indicative of age in Puffins. Descriptions are given of Puffins of the ages 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 years and older, from the South Iceland colony.

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