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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 451:227-229 (2012)  -  DOI:

The coming of age of marine ornithology

George L. Hunt Jr.1,*, Rory P. Wilson2

1School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Box 355020, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
2Swansea Moving Animal Research Team, Biosciences, College of Science, Swansea University, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK

ABSTRACT: The founders of the at-sea study of marine birds were scientists who had the opportunity to go to sea on cruises designed for other purposes. Likewise, the first studies of seabirds in colonies were parts of larger expeditions or programs. Data were obtained by direct observation and manual recording in the field. With the advent of the miniaturization of electronics, data acquisition has become largely automated, the types of questions addressed are more sophisticated, and the analysis of large data sets has greatly advanced. As the field has matured, at-sea observations have become collaborative efforts between ornithologists and traditional oceanographers, and colony studies have begun to address fundamental questions of evolution and ecology. The continued development of devices that reveal the behavior and physiology of free ranging birds provides exciting opportunities for the expansion of marine ornithology.

KEY WORDS: First World Seabird Conference · Remote sensing · Technological advances · Seabirds

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Cite this article as: Hunt GL Jr, Wilson RP (2012) The coming of age of marine ornithology. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 451:227-229.

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