Event Title

Spatial Variation in Pigeon Guillemot Foraging Patterns in Puget Sound

Streaming Media

Presentation Abstract

I used stable isotope analysis to infer foraging patterns and marine habitat associations among Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus Columba) in Puget Sound, WA. I analyzed discarded eggshells collected by citizen science volunteers from below active Pigeon Guillemot burrows. Samples were collected from 23 colonies on Whidbey Island (within the Admiralty Inlet and Whidbey Basins) and in the Nisqually Reach region (within the South Basin) over a three-month period during the 2019 breeding season. Stable isotope analysis was then performed on the eggshells and eggshell membranes. I found a significant difference in the carbon to nitrogen ratios of the samples collected from Admiralty Inlet and Whidbey Basins versus the South Basin, indicating that the birds in these two basins derive their energy and nutrients from different sources. The data further suggest that birds breeding in the South Basin and in the Whidbey Basin fed at a higher trophic level than birds breeding in the Admiralty Inlet Basin. Isotopic signatures did not vary significantly among colonies within the same basin. These patterns suggest that Pigeon Guillemot foraging behavior in Puget Sound is variable and may reflect attributes of the basin in which the colonies are located.

Session Title

Trophic energy flow in the Salish Sea: Part III (Marine Birds)

Conference Track

Trophic Interactions - Zooplankton, Phytoplankton, Salmon, Forage Fish & Invasive Species

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2020 : Online)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

2020_abstractID_3138

Start Date

21-4-2020 9:00 AM

End Date

22-4-2020 4:45 PM

Genre/Form

conference proceedings; presentations (communicative events)

Subjects – Topical (LCSH)

Pigeon guillemot--Food--Washington (State)--Puget Sound; Pigeon guillemot--Habitat--Washington (State)--Puget Sound; Sea birds--Behavior--Washington (Wash.)--Puget Sound; Sea birds--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Puget Sound (Wash.)

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 21st, 9:00 AM Apr 22nd, 4:45 PM

Spatial Variation in Pigeon Guillemot Foraging Patterns in Puget Sound

I used stable isotope analysis to infer foraging patterns and marine habitat associations among Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus Columba) in Puget Sound, WA. I analyzed discarded eggshells collected by citizen science volunteers from below active Pigeon Guillemot burrows. Samples were collected from 23 colonies on Whidbey Island (within the Admiralty Inlet and Whidbey Basins) and in the Nisqually Reach region (within the South Basin) over a three-month period during the 2019 breeding season. Stable isotope analysis was then performed on the eggshells and eggshell membranes. I found a significant difference in the carbon to nitrogen ratios of the samples collected from Admiralty Inlet and Whidbey Basins versus the South Basin, indicating that the birds in these two basins derive their energy and nutrients from different sources. The data further suggest that birds breeding in the South Basin and in the Whidbey Basin fed at a higher trophic level than birds breeding in the Admiralty Inlet Basin. Isotopic signatures did not vary significantly among colonies within the same basin. These patterns suggest that Pigeon Guillemot foraging behavior in Puget Sound is variable and may reflect attributes of the basin in which the colonies are located.