Title

A Note on Synchronous Egg Laying in a Seabird Behavior Model

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-12-2018

Abstract

During years when sea surface temperature (SST) is high, gulls in a colony on Protection Island, Washington, USA typically experience low food availability. As SST rises, feeder fish follow plankton to cooler temperatures in deeper water levels. Since gulls are surface-feeding birds, they face a food shortage. A tactic male gulls employ to deal with this food shortage is to cannibalize their neighbours' eggs. Gulls in this colony exhibit an adaptive tactic of every-other-day egg-laying synchrony in response to egg cannibalism, and the level of synchrony increases with colony density. Here we analyze the dynamics of an animal behaviour model for egg laying as a function of colony density. As colony density increases, the equilibrium loses stability in a 2-cycle bifurcation. The 2-cycle becomes increasingly synchronous as the colony density continues to increase. We show that egg-laying synchrony benefits the colony in the presence of cannibalism.

Journal Title

Journal of Difference Equations and Applications

Volume

24

Issue

12

First Page

1953

Last Page

1966

DOI

10.1080/10236198.2018.1544633

First Department

Mathematics

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