USGS Western Ecological Research Center

Home Who We Are Where We Are What We Do Products Search Outreach Jobs Contacts


Released: 2015
Nakagawa, MS, J Adams, J Harvey. 2015. SATELLITE-TRACKED SOOTY SHEARWATERS (PUFFINUS GRISEUS) RESPOND TO SPATIO-TEMPORAL WIND VARIABILITY IN THE CALIFORNIA CURRENT. Pacific Seabird Group, 42nd Annual Meeting, 18-21 February 2015, San Jose, CA. [Oral Presentation]

Marine predators forage in a heterogeneous landscape, where prey patches are unevenly distributed. Predators return to larger scale areas of consistent productivity such as the California Current, and search at finer temporal and spatial scales to locate prey patches. During the boreal spring-summer, Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) is among the most abundant avian predators in the California Current. Sooty Shearwaters leave southern hemisphere islands at the end of the breeding season and arrive in the California current after completing a long migration. To maintain body condition and undergo energetically demanding molt, shearwaters forage in the productive California Current waters. Shearwaters are adapted for efficient flight, and movements are highly correlated with winds. Nonbreeding shearwaters in this study appeared to use winds opportunistically; they responded by vacating foraging hotspots following a reversal in wind direction, often flying in the more economical downwind direction. Shearwaters also used headwind and tailwind flight much more frequently than expected, likely due to constraints of a north-south oriented coastline and availability of winds associated with this coastline orientation. Multiple tracked Sooty shearwaters also travelled synchronously while moving within the California current and again when departing on the autumn southern re-migration. We suggest the cue to depart on the southern migration involved a combination of seasonal phenology, local enhancement, and body condition.

This product is associated with the following project:
California Current Ecosystem Seabird Telemetry Atlas (CCESTA)

Bookmark and Share


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information:

References to non-U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) products do not constitute an endorsement by the DOI.

* DOI and USGS link policies apply.