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Intraspecific Kleptoparasitism and Foraging Efficiency as Constraints on Food Selectin by Kelp Gulls Larus Dominicanus

  • Philip A. R. Hockey
  • William K. Steele
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 20)

Abstract

Kleptoparasitism (food-stealing) is widespread among birds and is an important feeding technique of some families of seabirds, notably Fregatidae (frigatebirds), Chionididae (sheathbills), Stercoraridae (skuas) and Laridae (gulls and terns), being reported for more than 25% of species within these families (Brockmann and Barnard 1979). A useful axis along which to divide the behaviour between species is a ‘specialist-opportunist’ continuum. No seabird species is known to be an obligate kleptoparasite, but specialists, such as skuas and frigatebirds, obtain a large proportion of their food by kleptoparasitism of heterospecifics. It has been suggested that they may possess structural adaptations associated with these feeding techniques (Brockmann and Barnard 1979), although the evidence for this is weak (Furness 1987). All kleptoparasitic species steal food from other species, but several opportunistic kleptoparasites, such as gulls and terns, also practise this behaviour intraspecifically (e. g. Hopkins and Wiley 1972; Hulsman 1976; Verbeek 1977a,b; Rockwell 1982; Greig et al 1983; Hockey et al. in press). In a recent review, Furness (1987) concluded that such opportunistic kleptoparasites were as successful at stealing food as were specialist kleptoparasites.

Keywords

Handling Time Young Bird Prey Choice Herring Gull Kelp Gull 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip A. R. Hockey
    • 1
  • William K. Steele
    • 1
  1. 1.Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African OrnithologyUniversity of Cape TownRondeboschSouth Africa

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