Kleptoparasitism in gulls Laridae at an urban and a coastal foraging environment: an assessment of ecological predictors

Spencer, Robert and Russell, Yvan I. and Dickins, Benjamin J. A. and Dickins, Thomas E. (2017) Kleptoparasitism in gulls Laridae at an urban and a coastal foraging environment: an assessment of ecological predictors. Bird Study, 64 (1). pp. 12-19. ISSN 0006-3657

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Abstract

Capsule: Kleptoparasitism in gulls occurred at a greater rate at an urban compared with a coastal site. Population density and prey size predicted the rate of kleptoparasitism at the urban site.
Aims: To investigate and assess the ecological variables associated with kleptoparasitism among gulls at urban and rural sites.
Methods: Field observations were conducted at Brancaster (coastal rural) and Billingsgate Market (urban) to examine differences in the rate of kleptoparasitism in mixed-species flocks of gulls. Four key variables (prey size, population density, season and species) were assessed as predictors of kleptoparasitism.
Results: Generalized linear models revealed significant effects on kleptoparasitism rate of site, population density and prey size, and two-way interactions between these main terms. Population density and prey size differed significantly between sites, but population density appeared to predict the rate of kleptoparasitism.
Conclusion: Kleptoparasitism may well aid invasion and increase the range of environments a gull can tolerate by helping them meet their energy needs in novel environments where normal foraging behaviours are difficult to implement.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Behavioural Biology group
Item ID: 21577
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Bird Study on 01/11/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00063657.2016.1249821
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Depositing User: Tom Dickins
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2017 13:16
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2018 17:33
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/21577

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