Ranging behaviour of Northern Gannets

Published on 05 March 2018 in Main articles

By Rowena Langston and Emma Teuten

Abstract Adult Northern Gannets Morus bassanus from Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire, were fitted with satellite tags to investigate their ranging behaviour during chick-rearing and early post-breeding periods. This study was carried out to establish whether there was overlap of areas used with potential offshore wind energy development zones (OWEDZ) in the North Sea. The three seasons of study, 2010–12, identified previously unconfirmed sea areas used by adult Gannets from Bempton Cliffs. The locations of tagged birds during chick-rearing coincided with several OWEDZ. Post-breeding locations showed a different spatial distribution. This paper presents comparative results for all three chick-rearing seasons and, for a reduced sample of birds, two early post-breeding periods. Locations during the three chick-rearing seasons show similarities in the areas of active use.

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Fitting a satellite tag to the undertail feathers of an adult Gannet at Bempton, July 2012. Steve Race

Tagged adult Gannet (centre) back at the nest on the Staple Newk, Bempton, July 2010. Steve Race