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Free Content Feeding Ecology of Two Subtropical Seabird Species at French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii

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Regurgitated food samples from black noddy, Anous minutus, and red-footed booby, Sula sula, were collected and analyzed from French Frigate Shoals, Hawaii. Eighteen families of fishes, three families of cephalopods, and miscellaneous crustaceans were found in 396 black noddy samples. The most common prey were identified as fishes belonging to the families Synodontidae, Mullidae, and Microdesmidae and as the cephalopod family Ommastrephidae. Twenty-two families of fishes, primarily the Exocoetidae, Carangidae, and Mullidae, along with ommastrephid squids were found in the 456 red-footed booby samples. Our results suggest that these two species of seabirds are apex, opportunistic predators. Seasonal analyses reflect the variation of prey availability over the course of a year and lend support to the notion that this variation is a controlling factor in the timing of the species' breeding. The relationship between the trophic ecology of the seabirds and a tropical fishery is discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1989-07-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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