Previous anecdotal reports have suggested that Black-faced Cormorant Phalacrocorax fuscescens breeds only in winter in southeastern Australia, but detailed reports confirming this are lacking. Here we examine the timing of breeding in Black-faced Cormorants at Notch Island in northern Bass Strait in 2006. Peak laying occurred during winter (ca 26 July). The diet of Black-faced Cormorants was predominantly fish (97% of identified prey) and varied between breeding and post-breeding periods. Black-faced Cormorants consumed a total of 14 different species with four species having a frequency of occurrence in the diet of ?5% during the breeding season and six species during the post-breeding period. We provide data for the first time on the chronology of breeding of Black-faced Cormorants in one year and give a preliminary description of their diet based on pellet analyses. We propose that late winter breeding may be a strategy to avoid the high ambient temperatures in northern Bass Strait during summer, the associated higher thermoregulatory costs for adults and the increased mortality for chicks.
Field of Research
060201 Behavioural Ecology 060308 Life Histories 060809 Vertebrate Biology
Socio Economic Objective
970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
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