Volume 46, No. 2

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The annual cycle of Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus in East Antarctica


1IMAS, 20 Castray Esplanade, Battery Point 7001, Tasmania, Australia
2Australian Antarctic Division, 203 Channel Highway, Kingston, Tasmania 7050, Australia


OTOVIC, S., RILEY, M., HAY, I., McKINLAY, J., VAN DEN HOFF, J. & WIENECKE, B. 2018. The annual cycle of Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus in East Antarctica. Marine Ornithology 46: 129 - 138

Received 1 March 2018, accepted 2 July 2018

Date Published: 2018/10/15
Date Online: 2018/8/30
Key words: Southern Giant Petrels, Macronectes giganteus, phenology, automated cameras, East Antarctica


We report the first results from a 3-year study of the annual cycle of Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus in two colonies in East Antarctica. We tested the utility of a system of automated cameras that monitored and recorded events in the colonies year-round. Based on the collected images, we determined a detailed phenology of breeding events and activities throughout winter. The timing of some portions of the annual cycle (e.g., laying dates) were similar, whereas other aspects of the annual cycle differed between locations (e.g., pair formation and length of the non-brooding guard phase). Comparisons with other breeding locations throughout the species' range showed that lay dates vary with latitude but are synchronous at each site.


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