Telemetry devices used on seabirds have been shown to affect their behavior, reproduction, and survival. However, studies have primarily been limited to larger species, and results are occasionally equivocal. We quantified tag retention time and effects of attaching subcutaneous anchor radiotransmitters on behavior, provisioning, and reproduction in the Common Murre (Uria aalge), a medium-bodied seabird. Between 1999 and 2001, we tagged 48 Common Murres on Tatoosh Island, Washington. Subsequently, 46 birds were detected during colony observation, radiotracking, or both. Activity budgets and time spent at the nest site did not differ between tagged birds and their untagged mates. However, tagged birds made fewer but longer trips away from the nest and provisioned their chicks significantly less than their mates did (0.07 ± 0.02 fish h−1 and 0.18 ± 0.02 fish h−1, respectively). Prey size and energy content did not differ. Despite the disparity in provisioning rates at the individual level, tagged pairs and control pairs had equivalent energy-delivery rates and reproductive success. Tagging effects did not persist in the long term, because percentage of tagged birds returning to the colony the next breeding season was similar to percentage of birds without tags, and tagged birds' reproductive success was comparable to that of the rest of the colony. Subcutaneous anchor attachments compared favorably to glued tags and implanted transmitters in terms of retention time and survival, respectively. We recommend using subcutaneous anchor transmitters for medium-bodied seabirds that employ flexible foraging strategies. Possible exceptions are years of poor food availability, when the capacity to absorb tag effects may be lower.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 121 • No. 4