Where the Wild Things Are: Sex Differentiated Foraging Behavior in Leach's storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa)

Date of Award

Spring 5-11-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Robert Mauck


Sex differences in parental effort have been well studied in avian systems. Previous findings indicate that in sexually dimorphic species, the larger mate frequently invests more energy in caring for the offspring; however, the issue becomes increasingly complex when sexually monomorphic species are considered. In this paper, we investigated the foraging behavior of 40 total Leach’s storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) using archival lightloggers, or geolocators. Geolocator data was utilized to generate a number of behaviorally based metrics through which the sexes could be compared. Our findings indicate that male and female Leach’s storm-petrels may be foraging in different total areas and utilizing different ephemeral resources. Additionally, an interaction was found between the time within the incubation period and storm-petrel behavior, suggesting that the energetic concerns of the female fluctuate over the course of the month and a half long incubation period.

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