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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Correlations between seabirds and ocenic fronts around the Pribilof Islands, Alaska

  • Author(s): Kinder, TH
  • Hunt, GL
  • Schneider, D
  • Schumacher, JD
  • et al.

Located on the extensive continental shelf of the Bering Sea, the Pribilof Islands, Alaska are the site of one of the largest breeding colonies of seabirds in the northern hemisphere. During summer these islands are surrounded by a front that separates vertically homogeneous waters from well stratified waters farther seaward. We studied the front with hydrographic data and the bird distributions with concurrent counts during summer 1977 and spring, summer and fall 1978. Murres (Uria lomvia and U. aalge) sitting on the water aggregated near the front during summer 1977 and probably during summer 1978. Other species, such as northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) and auklets (Aethia pusilla and A. cristatella) were unaffected by the front. We hypothesize that the aggregation of the murres was related to an enhanced availability of their food near the front. © 1983.

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