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Costs and benefits to eiders nesting in gull colonies a field experiment

Costs and benefits to eiders nesting in gull colonies a field experiment

Ornis Scandinavica 20(4): 283-288

An earlier study showed that, during incubation, predation on Eider Somateria mollissima nests in gull colonies was lower than on nests elsewhere. Surprisingly, Eiders do not strongly favour nesting in gull colonies. One reason for this could be a high risk of nest predation in gull colonies during the Eider laying period, when gulls have not started laying and defending their own eggs. An experiment with artificial nests showed that a higher proportion of nests was preyed upon within than outside gull colonies during the Eider laying period. Hooded Crows Corvus corone often visited gull colonies and apparently preyed upon artificial nests to a higher rate within than outside colonies. These results help to explain the weak nesting association between Eiders and gulls. In ducts, strong nesting associations with larids have only been reported for species that start breeding later than or at the same time as the larids.

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Accession: 007165650

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DOI: 10.2307/3676493

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