Study

Factors affecting colony formation in Leach's storm-petrel

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nesting sites for burrow-nesting seabirds

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Use vocalisations to attract birds to safe areas

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nesting sites for burrow-nesting seabirds

    A replicated trial in 1980-3 on four islands in Maine, USA (Podolsky & Kress 1989), found that only two Leach’s storm petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa chicks fledged successfully from 264 artificial burrows over three years (both in the third year). Between 14 and 46 burrows (5-17%) were colonised, with 6-10 being used for breeding. A total of 22 eggs were produced over three years, of which ten hatched, producing two chicks. Burrows had a 40-50 cm entrance tunnel (10 cm diameter) and a 25 x 25 x 25 cm nest chamber set to one side and covered with a large flat rock (for inspection). This study also describes the impact of playing vocalisations to attract petrels, described in (‘Use vocalisations to attract birds to safe areas’).

     

  2. Use vocalisations to attract birds to safe areas

    A replicated, controlled study in 1980-3 on four islands in Maine, USA (Podolsky & Kress 1989), found that significantly more Leach’s storm petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa colonised artificial nest chambers when the petrel’s ‘purr’ call was played from speakers near the burrows, compared to when only the ‘chuckle’ call was played or control burrows, where no vocalisations were played (24% of 40 burrows with just ‘purr’ calls colonised and 17.5% of 164 burrows with ‘purr’ and ‘chuckle’ calls vs. 0% for 20 burrows with ‘chuckle’ only and 0% for 40 control burrows). Calls were played from 22:00 hours until 04:00 each night from mid-May to mid-August from speakers located in the centre of clusters of burrows. Burrows that were colonised were significantly closer to speakers than expected at random, with over 80% of occupied burrows within 1.5 m of a speaker. Overall, only two chicks fledged successfully from 264 artificial burrows over three years (both in the third year). This study is also discussed in ‘Provide artificial nesting sites’.

     

Output references
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