Effects of supplementary feeding on breeding performance of black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla nesting on artificial nest platforms on Middleton Island, Alaska, USA

  • Published source details Gill V.A., Hatch S.A. & Lanctot R.B. (2002) Sensitivity of breeding parameters to food supply in black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla. Ibis, 144, 268-283


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food for gulls, terns and skuas to increase reproductive success

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food for gulls, terns and skuas to increase reproductive success

    A replicated, controlled study during the breeding seasons of 1996-7 in the northern Gulf of Alaska, USA (Gill et al. 2002) using the same data as Gill & Hatch 2002, found that black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla pairs that were provided with supplementary food had earlier laying and hatching dates, faster growing chicks and higher chick survival than control pairs (for 157 fed pairs, first eggs laid on 3-4th June, hatched 30th June-1st July, 79-82% chick survival to 40 days vs. first eggs laid on 7th June, hatched 4th July, 51-53% chick survival to 40 days for 128 control pairs). However, there were no significant differences in egg volume, incubation period or chick fledging weight between treatments. Supplementary food consisted of 163 g/day of small pieces of herring, provided two or three times daily beginning in May, three weeks before first laying and ending in mid-August.


Output references

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