|Individual differences in foraging site fidelity are not related to time-activity budgets in Herring Gulls
van Donk, S.; Shamoun-Baranes, J.; Bouten, W.; van der Meer, J.; Camphuysen, C.J. (2020). Individual differences in foraging site fidelity are not related to time-activity budgets in Herring Gulls. Ibis 162(2): 429-445. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ibi.12697
In: Ibis. British Ornithologists' Union/Wiley: London. ISSN 0019-1019; e-ISSN 1474-919X, meer
accelerometer; behavioural consistency; bio-logging; central-place forager; energy expenditure; fine-scale foraging behaviour; GPS tracking; seabird
- van Donk, S., meer
- Shamoun-Baranes, J.
- Bouten, W.
- van der Meer, J., meer
- Camphuysen, C.J., meer
Many populations consist of individuals that differ consistently in their foraging behaviour through resource or foraging site selection. Foraging site fidelity has been reported in several seabird species as a common phenomenon. It is considered especially beneficial in spatially and/or temporally predictable environments in which fidelity is thought to increase energy intake, thereby affecting time‐energy budgets. However, the consequences for activity and energy budget have not been adequately tested. In this paper, we studied the consequences of fine‐scale foraging site fidelity in adult Herring Gulls Larus argentatus in a highly predictable foraging environment with distinct foraging patches. We measured their time‐activity budgets using GPS tracking and tri‐axial acceleration measurements, which also made it possible to estimate energy expenditure. Individual variation in foraging site fidelity was high, some individuals spending most of their time on a single foraging patch and others spending the same amount of time in up to 21 patches. While time and activity budgets differed between individuals, we found no clear relationship with foraging site fidelity. We did find a relationship between the size of the birds and the level of site fidelity; faithful birds tend to have a larger body size. Although differences in foraging time and habitat use between individuals could play a role in the results of the current study, short‐term consequences of variation in foraging site fidelity within a population remain elusive, even when focusing on individuals with a similar foraging specialization (Blue Mussels Mytilus edulis). Studying individuals over multiple years and under varying environmental conditions may provide better insight into the consequences and plasticity of foraging site fidelity.