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Diving behaviour of the grey-headed albatross

  • N. Huin (a1) and P.A. Prince (a1)
Abstract

Foraging grey-headed albatrosses spent 86% of the night but only 20% of the day sitting on the sea; most diving activity occurred during daylight. During the broad-guard period of nesting, peaks of diving activity occurred at midday and dusk. During the subsequent chick-rearing period, however, diving was mainly at dawn and dusk. Of 485 dives measured, the depth averaged 0.74 m, with maximum depth at 6.5 m. On average grey-headed albatrosses dived 24 times during a five day foraging trip. Dive depths increased towards midday, probably as a function of the birds' visual acuity rather than due to vertical migration of their prey. We estimate that grey-headed albatrosses may obtain 30–45% of their daily food requirements by diving.

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Corresponding author
Corresponding author, e-mail: papr@pcmail.nerc-bas.ac.uk
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Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
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