The Breeding Biology Of The Puffins: Tufted Puffin (Lunda Cirrhata), Horned Puffin (Fratercula Corniculata), Common Puffin (F. Arctica), And Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca Monocerata)

Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1980 The natural histories of Tufted and Horned puffins (Lunda cirrhata and Fratercula corniculata) were studied during the summer on Buldir Island, Alaska, in 1975 and on Ugaiushak Island, Alaska, in 1976 and 1977. Data from these and other recent stud...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Wehle, Duff Henry Strong
Format: Doctoral or Postdoctoral Thesis
Language:unknown
Published: 1980
Subjects:
Online Access:http://hdl.handle.net/11122/9312
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Summary:Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1980 The natural histories of Tufted and Horned puffins (Lunda cirrhata and Fratercula corniculata) were studied during the summer on Buldir Island, Alaska, in 1975 and on Ugaiushak Island, Alaska, in 1976 and 1977. Data from these and other recent studies have been presented and compared with that available for Common Puffins (F. arctica) and Rhinoceros Auklets (Cerorhinca monocerata)--actually a misnamed puffin--to provide a synthesis of the natural history of the world's four species of puffins. Different aspects of puffin natural history show varying degrees of interspecific variability. Preferences of nesting habitats and patterns of colony settlement are similar for Tufted and Common puffins, while the length of incubation, brooding, and nestling periods are similar for Tufted Puffins and Rhinoceros Auklets. Sexual and social behaviors are similar for the congeneric Horned and Common puffins. All species have two to four vocalizations in common. Nest building, nest-site tenacity, nest-site cohabitation, territoriality, egg replacement, and the participation by both sexes in incubation and feeding young are characteristics of all puffins. For all colony-years reported, the average range of breeding success rates for puffins are 50-60% for laying success, 75-90% for hatching success, and 53-82% for fledging success. Puffins exhibit considerable seasonal and geographic inter- and intraspecific variation in their foraging habitats. Fish is the most important prey for all adult puffins, although squid, polychaetes, and crustaceans are consumed to varying degrees by each species. Sand lance (Ammodytes spp.) is the most common prey fed to all puffin nestlings. Nestling growth rates are highest in Tufted and Horned puffins when sand lance and supplemented with Capelin (Mallotus villosus) and in Common Puffins when sand lance are supplemented with sprats (Sprattus sprattus).