Title

Responses of Nesting Common Terns and Laughing Gulls to Flyovers by Large Gulls

Publication Date

1993

Journal or Book Title

WILSON BULLETIN

Abstract

Disturbance can reduce productivity by disrupting nesting behavior. We examined responses of nesting Common Terns (Sterna hirundo) and Laughing Gulls (Lams atricilh) to frequent overhead flights by Herring (L. argentutus) and Great Black-backed (L. murinus) gulls to determine if such flyovers may have contributed to declines in productivity. Common Terns and Laughing Gulls ignored most flyovers (97.9 and 99.4% respectively) and selectively responded to large gulls that exhibited behaviors associated with predation. Common Terns mobbed large gulls more often than did Laughing Gulls (G = 18.3 1, P < 0.00 l), but numbers of birds per mobbing were similar between species (2 = 1.206, df = 11, 6, P = 0.2388). We suggest that when conditions favor habituation, the presence of large gulls has minimal impact on productivity.

Volume

105

Issue

2

Pages

333-338

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