Brown pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico (data from Geary et al. 2018)-reference-data

Geary B, Walter ST, Leberg PL, Karubian J. 2018. Brown pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico (data from Geary et al. 2018)-reference-data. Movebank Data Repository.
The degree to which foraging individuals are able to appropriately modify their behaviors in response to dynamic environmental conditions and associated resource availability can have important fitness consequences. Despite an increasingly refined understanding of differences in foraging behavior between individuals, we still lack detailed characterizations of within-individual variation over space and time, and what factors may drive this variability. From 2014 to 2017, we used GPS transmitters and accelerometers to document foraging movements by breeding adult Brown Pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in the northern Gulf of Mexico, where the prey landscape is patchy and dynamic at various scales. Assessments of traditional foraging metrics such as trip distance, linearity, or duration did not yield significant relationships between individuals. However, we did observe lower site fidelity and less variation in energy expenditure in birds of higher body condition, despite a population-level trend of increased fidelity as the breeding season progressed. These findings suggest that high-quality individuals are both more variable and more efficient in their foraging behaviors during a period of high energetic demand, consistent with a “rich get richer” scenario in which individuals in better condition are able to invest in more costly behaviors that provide higher returns. This work highlights the importance of considering behavioral variation at multiple scales, with particular reference to within-individual variation, to improve our understanding of foraging ecology in wild populations.
animal foraging,animal movement,animal tracking,behavioral flexibility,brown pelican,central place foraging,foraging ecology,Gulf of Mexico,individual variation,Pelecanus occidentalis,seabird
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DOIs of related Publications
  title = {Brown pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico (data from Geary et al. 2018)-reference-data},
  author = {Geary, B and Walter, ST and Leberg, PL and Karubian, J},
  year = {2018},
  URL = {},
  doi = {doi:10.5441/001/1.212g53s7/2},
  publisher = {Movebank data repository}
ID  - doi:10.5441/001/1.212g53s7/2
T1  - Brown pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico (data from Geary et al. 2018)-reference-data
AU  - Geary, Brock
AU  - Walter, Scott T.
AU  - Leberg, Paul L.
AU  - Karubian, Jordan
Y1  - 2018/12/31
KW  - animal foraging
KW  - animal movement
KW  - animal tracking
KW  - behavioral flexibility
KW  - brown pelican
KW  - central place foraging
KW  - foraging ecology
KW  - Gulf of Mexico
KW  - individual variation
KW  - Pelecanus occidentalis
KW  - seabird
KW  - Pelecanus occidentalis
PB  - Movebank data repository
UR  -
DO  - doi:10.5441/001/1.212g53s7/2
ER  -