My research is on the movement ecology of seabirds. My field work takes place at the island of Stora Karlsö; near Gotland in the Baltic Sea. I am using GPS and TDR (time-depth recorders) devices to obtain detailed information of behaviour during the breeding season for two species of auk, the common guillemot and razorbill. One aspect of this research is to compare the two species, as although they appear to share a similar niche, both foraging on the same prey species, they have different breeding phenology. At Stora Karlsö; razorbills breed later than their sympatric guillemots. A likely explanation for this lies in the species using different foraging strategies.
I also wish to compare year round behaviour in both species, for which I will use a combination of light-loggers (geolocators) and TDRs. A specially interesting phase of the annual cycle for these auks is the moult period when they are flightless for several weeks; then wing area is dramatically reduced after losing their primary feathers. Looking at this phase in more detail could throw light on the trade-offs between flight and diving; these being very deep diving species, recorded to depths over 100 meters.
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