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El hornero

versión impresa ISSN 0073-3407versión On-line ISSN 1850-4884


NASCA, Patricia B.; GANDINI, Patricia A.  y  FRERE, Esteban. Characterization of multispecies feeding flocks of seabirds in the Firth of Deseado, Santa Cruz, Argentina. Hornero [online]. 2004, vol.19, n.1, pp.29-36. ISSN 0073-3407.

The objective of this work was to study the multispecies feeding flocks of marine birds in the Firth of Deseado, Santa Cruz. During one year, we observed specific composition, species abundance and duration of the assemblages. A total of 91 associations were recorded during the fall, spring and summer, being absent in winter, when fishes that form schools are far away from the coast and not come into the firth. The most frequent size was 100 individuals and they were formed, on average, by three species. Their average duration (± SD) was 28.8 ± 15.8 min. We identified 12 species of birds and the Commerson´s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus commersonii) in the flocks. The most abundant and frequent species were terns (Sterna hirundinacea and Thalasseus sandvicensis), Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus) and Magellanic Penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus). The Rock Shag (Phalacrocorax magellanicus) was the least frequent one among the species that breed in the firth and which formed part of the associations. Magellanic Penguins and terns were positively associated. In the breeding season, Kelp Gulls and terns were found together. In the Firth of Deseado, studied associations were Type I, in which the penguins would be carrying out an important role in their formation. Since they are divers, they could take their prey to the surface that remains then more available for terns and gulls. These birds feed on the surface and in a conspicuous way, so they would be acting like catalysts species.

Palabras clave : Argentina; Multispecies feeding flocks; Penguins; Puerto Deseado; Seabirds; Terns.

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