SPECIES

Pink-footed Shearwater Ardenna creatopus Scientific name definitions

Ryan D. Carle, Valentina Colodro, Jonathan Felis, Joshua Adams, and Peter J. Hodum
Version: 2.0 — Published April 9, 2022

Movements and Migration

Movement

Chick-rearing adults tracked with GPS devices from Isla Mocha foraged exclusively in Chilean waters, with and visited foraging hotspots that were consistently located during three years (south of Isla Mocha from 39.0–39.5°S and north of Isla Mocha from 37.0–39.1°S) (29). Birds from the Juan Fernández Islands tracked with satellite transmitters foraged around the islands and in continental shelf waters (Oikonos, unpublished data). Their foraging range overlapped with the northern range of birds tracked from Isla Mocha (e.g., offshore of Talcahuano, Chile at 36.7°S; Oikonos, unpublished data).

During the breeding period, chick-rearing adults demonstrated a bimodal foraging pattern of either short trips (< 30 hr long; spanning only one day between two nocturnal visits; 27% of trips) or long trips (≥ 30 hr; at least one full night spent away from colony; 73% of trips) (29). Long trip mean duration (121.2 h ± 65.9 SD [5.0 d ± 2.8 SD]), range (215.7 km ± 125.6 SD), and distance traveled (1,203.9 km ± 845.7 SD) were at least five times greater than those of short trips (duration 18.6 h ± 3.0 SD; range 23.3 km ± 15.1 SD; distance traveled 107.6 km ± 46.8 SD (29).

During an El Niño year (2016), birds responded to presumably poor foraging conditions by traveling farther north and south than in 2015 and 2017, and traveling longer overall distances during foraging trips (29). In the El Niño year, birds ranged northward from Isla Mocha to 33.6°S, and southward to 43.5°S (to the straights south of Isla Chiloé) (29). During 2016, birds on long foraging trips traveled farther (mean total distance 1,989.4 km ± 1,078.8 SD) than in non-El Niño years (858.7 km ± 453.5 SD in 2015; 878.8 km ± 326.6 SD in 2017) (29). Mean maximum range of foraging trips (i.e., maximum straight-line distance from Isla Mocha) was also greater in 2016 (303.3 km ± 167.6 SD), compared with non-El Niño years (159.4 km ± 70.4 SD in 2015; 203.8 km ± 87.4 SD in 2017) (29).

After breeding, individuals migrate north to waters off Peru (1,600–2,500 km north of breeding colony), or northward to North America (8,000–11,000 km north of the breeding colony) (16). See Migration Overview section.

Dispersal and Site Fidelity

Natal Philopatry and Dispersal

No information. No mark-recapture information, such as banding or telemetry, on hatch-year birds.

Adult Fidelity to Breeding Site and Dispersal

No information.

Fidelity to Overwintering Home Range

No information at the individual level, as no inter-annual mark-recapture data, such as telemetry or banding, exist (16). Different individuals tracked in different years during the non-breeding period did visit similar areas at sea, suggesting some population-level fidelity to stopover and wintering sites (16).

Migration Overview

After breeding, adults migrate north from breeding islands off central Chile to eastern boundary current waters off the west coasts of Peru and North America (16). Satellite-tracked birds used two different post-breeding migration strategies: 28% of individuals traveled 1,600–2,500 km north to spend the entire nonbreeding period offshore of Peru, and 72% traveled 8,000–11,000 km north to waters extending from Baja California, Mexico to the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada (16). Individuals that traveled to North America made stopovers in waters off Peru during both northward and southward migrations, making this an important nonbreeding area for the entire population (16). Additional sightings of birds at sea indicate some travel as far north as southern Alaska (6).

Timing and Routes of Migration

Information below is from a study that tracked birds tagged with satellite transmitters from breeding colonies in Chile (confirmed or suspected breeding birds, n = 30) and at sea from nonbreeding-period areas off California, United States (confirmed after-hatch-year birds based on flight feather molt patterns, n = 12) (16). Birds tracked from breeding colonies used two different post-breeding migration strategies: 28% of individuals traveled 1,600–2,500 km north to spend the entire nonbreeding period offshore of Peru, and 72% traveled 8,000–11,000 km north to waters extending from Baja California, Mexico to the west coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. Most tagged individuals left the breeding region between late April and early May and returned by mid-October through November. Traveling between the breeding region (32°S) and southern Peru (17°S), birds spent 4.3 d ± 1.6 SD (range 2–8) during northward migration and 8.1 d ± 3.4 SD (range 5–17) during southward migration. Migrants ultimately bound for North America stopped in waters primarily offshore of Peru for 17.8 d ± 15.2 SD (range 5–50) from late April to late May, and 17.3 d ± 3.8 SD (range 10–23) when moving southward from late September to mid-November. Birds traveling to North America flew rapidly across the Gulf of Panama between northern Peru (4°S) and southern Baja California, Mexico (23°N). This distance was covered in just 10.8 d ± 4.7 SD (range 6–21) traveling north, and 14.2 d ± 7.9 SD (range 8–37) traveling south. Once offshore of North America, movements slowed and generally progressed northward throughout the nonbreeding period to connect several high-use areas offshore of Mexico, United States, and Canada.

When traveling northward from Chile to central Peru, individuals initially remained close to the coast, but then traveled up to 1,100 km offshore past northern Chile and southern Peru before reaching nearshore waters off central Peru (16). While migrating between South America and North America, birds typically traveled directly across the Gulf of Panama, 400–1,700 km from shore. Exceptions included temporary entry into the Gulf of California (northbound only), and an extreme case of one individual that likely became entrained in a series of northwestward-moving hurricanes for two weeks off central Mexico on the northbound migration. This bird was displaced 1,400 km offshore (west-northwest) of central Mexico while en route to Baja California and returned to coastal Baja California after traveling 1,000 km farther offshore than all other birds tracked at that latitude.

The mean rate of movement between telemetry locations was typically < 5 km/h at stopover/wintering areas, 10–17 km/h in the migratory region between Chile and Peru, and 10–21 km/h crossing the Gulf of Panama (as summarized in 1-degree latitude bins for all birds pooled; 16).

Migratory Behavior

Fidelity to Migratory Routes and Stopover Sites

No individual-level information. No individuals were tracked for more than one year, and not enough individuals were tracked per year to determine the level of inter-annual variation in fidelity to migratory routes and overwintering regions (16). Different tracked individuals did use similar routes and stopover areas in different years, suggesting fidelity at the population level (16).

Movement Behavior During Stopover

The mean rate of movement between telemetry locations was typically < 5 km/h at stopover/wintering areas, 10–17 km/h in the migratory region between Chile and Peru, and 10–21 km/h crossing the Gulf of Panama (as summarized in 1-degree latitude bins for all birds pooled; 16). Slower rates of movement within stopover areas suggest potential foraging in these areas (16).

Duration of Stopover and Migratory Periods

Traveling between the breeding region (32°S) and southern Peru (17°S), birds spent 4.3 d ± 1.6 SD (range 2–8) during northward migration and 8.1 d ± 3.4 SD (range 5–17) during southward migration (16). Migrants ultimately bound for North America stopped in waters primarily offshore of Peru for 17.8 d ± 15.2 SD (range 5–50) from late April to late May, and 17.3 d ± 3.8 SD (range 10–23) when moving southward from late September to mid-November (16). Birds traveling to North America flew rapidly across the Gulf of Panama between northern Peru (4°S) and southern Baja California, Mexico (23°N;16). This distance was covered in just 10.8 d ± 4.7 SD (range 6–21) traveling north, and 14.2 d ± 7.9 SD (range 8–37) traveling south (16).

Control and Physiology of Migration

No information.

Recommended Citation

Carle, R. D., V. Colodro, J. Felis, J. Adams, and P. J. Hodum (2022). Pink-footed Shearwater (Ardenna creatopus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (P. G. Rodewald and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.pifshe.02