Foraging behavior and at-sea distribution of White-Tailed Tropicbirds in tropical ocean

<div><p>Abstract We used miniaturized GPS loggers and site observations to access foraging patterns and nest behaviour of the White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus (WTTB), an endangered species at its South Atlantic breeding colony. Dual foraging pattern was observed with alternation between long and short foraging trips. Birds responsible for nest attendance engaged in short foraging trips with mean distance from colony of 25 ± 17 km, total distance covered of 79 ± 65 km and mean duration of 4.02 ± 5.28 hours. Birds flew by dawn and returned before dusk while partners were at sea for long foraging trips that ranged from four to 11 days, with mean maximum distance from colony of 105 ± 47.48 km. Chicks were usually left alone for hours and chick predation by Land Crab Johngartia lagostroma, egg consumption by Goniopsis cruentata and intra-specific competition are suspected to be responsible for high chick mortality rates.</p></div>