Non-breeding and nests without eggs in the Lesser Black-backed Gull.

O'Connell, Mark and Coulson, J and Raven, S and Joyce, S (1997) Non-breeding and nests without eggs in the Lesser Black-backed Gull. Ibis: International Journal of Avian Science, 139 (2). pp. 252-258. ISSN 0019-1019

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Abstract

Estimates of the number of breeding Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus at the Tarnbrook Fell gullery, Lancashire, have been made from annual counts of nests since 1981. During all of these surveys, the mean percentage of nests which did not contain eggs has been remarkably constant from year to year (54%± 1.9%). A study of specific nests at the colony in 1992 showed that the great majority of these “empty” nests did not subsequently receive eggs. in 1993, a study of a sample of territory-holding gulls was made on a 0.41-ha study plot to investigate and to quantify the occurrence of empty nests. Of the 62 pairs that defended a territory and constructed a complete nest, 27% subsequently failed to produce eggs. These birds attended their territory as a pair significantly less frequently than pairs that produced clutches and achieved significantly fewer apparently successful mountings. Sixty percent of pairs constructed more than one nest, and 58% of all nests built received no eggs. The construction of empty nests was not found to be related to the density of nesting gulls. Since 1981, estimates of the number of gulls in the colony have been based on the assumption that one nest represents one pair of gulls. This has been shown not to be the case, and a correction multiplier of 0.61 must be applied to counts of nests at the colony to obtain an estimate of the number of breeding gulls.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: O'CONNELL, M. J., COULSON, J. C., RAVEN, S. and JOYCE, S. (1997), Nonbreeding and nests without eggs in the Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus. Ibis, 139: 252–258. doi:10.1111/j.1474-919X.1997.tb04622.x, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1997.tb04622.x/full. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology > QL605 Chordates. Vertebrates > QL671-699 Birds
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Natural & Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Mark O'Connell
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2017 15:36
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2017 02:49
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/5061

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