Javascript is not activated in your browser. This website needs javascript activated to work properly.
You are here

Foraging behaviour of common murres in the Baltic Sea, recorded by simultaneous attachment of GPS and time-depth recorder devices

  • Tom Evans
  • Martina Kadin
  • Olof Olsson
  • Susanne Åkesson
Publishing year: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 277-289
Publication/Series: Marine Ecology - Progress Series
Volume: 475
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Inter-Research

Abstract english

Global positioning system and time-depth recorders were deployed in combination to investigate the foraging behaviour of common murres Uria aalge breeding at Stora Karlsö Island, Baltic Sea, during the chick-rearing period. In the pre-breeding period the main prey species of murres, sprat Sprattus sprattus, is targeted by commercial fisheries, likely reducing prey availability during the breeding season. Foraging trips typically consisted of a short flight followed by a period sitting on the sea surface (0.39 ± 0.48 h), followed by several (5.3 ± 3.8) diving bouts interspersed by flights and water surface activity. Following the final diving bout, murres returned directly to the colony. Overnight foraging trips lasted longer than daytime trips, and that result corresponded with greater diving activity and reduced dive depths around dawn and dusk, likely times of high prey accessibility. High outward flight groundspeeds (20.0 ± 2.8 m s-1) were aided by tailwinds, and lower inward flight groundspeeds (15.1 ± 2.5 m s-1) were impeded by headwinds. Flights following the wind direction may reflect a strategy to reduce crosswind drift. Foraging intensity was lower than reported by most other studies of murres, suggesting more abundant or aggregated prey.


  • Biological Sciences
  • Foraging behaviour
  • Diving behaviour
  • Uria aalge
  • Common murre
  • Wildlife telemetry
  • Data loggers
  • Baltic Sea


  • CAnMove
  • ISSN: 1616-1599
Susanne Åkesson
E-mail: susanne [dot] akesson [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se


Evolutionary ecology

+46 46 222 37 05

+46 70 245 04 23